Aid Reaches Violence-stricken Region in India
Jahar, a 105-year-old villager affected by ethnic riots, is carried by his son to a relief camp near Bijni in the northeastern Indian state of Assam 26 July. Indian bishops are calling for an end to the ethnic violence that has left more than 40 dead and at least 200,000 homeless. (photo: CNS/Utpal Baruah, Reuters)
30 Jul 2012 Aid Reaches Violence-stricken Region in India
by Catholic News Service
GUWAHATI, India (CNS) — Relief began
reaching violence-stricken areas of Assam state after a
visiting by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Singhs visit to the northeast Indian state included
the announcement of $54 million for relief and
rehabilitation in the area affected by ethnic violence that
left 60 dead and 400,000 people homeless in mid-July, the
Asian church news agency UCA News reported.
Catholic relief organizations were among the
agencies seeking to send aid to the region for more than a
week in the wake of the bloody clashes between Muslim
migrants from West Bengal and Bangladesh and ethnic
Violence erupted July 20 after four Bodo youths
were killed by Muslims. The murders followed the killing
of two Muslim youths earlier in July.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of India in a
July 26 statement said it was deeply pained by the
mindless violence and humanitarian crisis that engulfed
several districts in the northeastern Indian state.
Singh approved payments of $3,600 to the
families of each of the 60 people killed during violence
along with $900 for each person injured.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram followed Singhs
visit July 30.
The displaced people have settled in 235 relief
camps after a cycle of violence saw homes torched in
three autonomous districts overseen by Bodo people.
As the aid workers reached the worst affected
areas, they were greeted by scenes of devastation, with
rice paddy fields still burning 10 days after the violence
Nothing is untouched by fire, said Sister Jacoba,
who ministers in the area. We have to attend to so many
people and I am looking out for more volunteers.
Authorities have entrusted the Missionaries of
Charity with delivering aid in Dhubri in conjunction with
Officials at the Bongaigaon Diocese, which
includes the burned-out region, also arranged for doctors
and nurses to treat the injured.
Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon led a
team to relief camps in Chirang July 28 to assess the
Tags: India Interreligious Indian Catholics Catholic-Muslim relations