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Khagrabari survivors renew cry for justice

GUWAHATI: Tragedy refuses to leave Kashem Ali. He lost his mother to militants in 1994 and his daughter, again to rebels, two decades later. With hardly a family left, and no home to speak of, Ali spends his days in a relief camp, occasionally joining a half-hearted cry for justice.

Ali is one of the inmates at Narayanguri camp in Baksa district who was left homeless after the Khagrabari massacre of May 2014. He is one of the 60-odd victims at the camp who lost their loved ones when armed NDFB-S militants opened fire indiscriminately on villagers in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) and its adjoining areas, including Khagrabari, on May 2, 2014, killing 41. Most of those killed included women and children.

The inmates on Saturday renewed their demand for justice.
“I have nothing left in life. When I was a child, my mother was killed by militants. I lost my daughter in 2014. I also lost my elder sister in 1994. When will I get justice?” asked Ali who took a bullet on his neck in the 1994 attack.

Abdul Kalam Azad, a postgraduate student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and an activist who has brought out a report on the Khagrabari massacre, said it’s unfortunate that the survivors’ concerns are yet to be addressed. “The report is an endeavour to bring out their stories of struggle. It also tries to draw a contemporary socio-political portrait of BTAD,” he said.

“The history of these killings of marginalized people shows that none of the killers have ever been brought to book. In fact, almost all political parties tried to draw political benefit from these massacres. Even the civil society failed to arouse the collective conscience of the society,” said Hafiz Ahmed, president of Char Chapori Sahitya Parishad ( CCSP), a literary body of the state.


Source : The Times of India

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