Gauhati High Court seeks status of West Bengal refugees in Assam

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More than 400 people had fled violence in Cooch Behar district after the May 2 Assembly election results and are staying in makeshift camps in Assam’s border district Dhubri.

The Gauhati High Court has sought an update from the Centre and Assam government on the status of people who fled violence in West Bengal after the declaration of the election results on May 2 and took refuge in the border areas of Assam.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak has also sought the status of the condition of the children in the makeshift camps in Assam from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in its June 1 directive.

The court had heard two public interest litigation petitions on the issue of the internally-displaced persons forced to flee West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district and take refuge across the inter-State border in Assam’s Dhubri district. The petitions were filed by Abhijit Sarma based in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh and Ravi Chhedilal of Mumbai.

The court fixed July 14 as the next date of hearing after the detailed replies come within three weeks.

More than 400 people had crossed over to Dhubri within 48 hours on May 2 after the Assembly election results were declared.

On May 14, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar visited the camps of the refugees in Dhubri district along with Cooch Behar MP Nisith Pramanik.

“These people are so terrified that they told me they might be attacked again because I met them. I cannot imagine they are living in such fear. They are facing political vendetta because they opposed the ruling party [in West Bengal],” he had said after the visit.

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