GUWAHATI, India, Aug 6 (AlertNet) - Hundreds of thousands of people sheltering in squalid, overcrowded camps in India's northeast desperately need food, water and medicines after fleeing some of the worst communal violence in a decade, officials and aid workers said on Monday.Ramadan death count moves up to 1,840.
At least 12 people, including four children, have died and thousands are sick with diseases such as diahorrea and malaria caused by poor conditions in government-run camps in Assam state, where up to 400,000 people have taken refuge.
"We are in a state of high alert," said Assam's Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. "People in the camps are suffering from diahorrea, dysentery, malaria and high fever. We are concerned about the condition of the babies and pregnant women."
Violence between Bodo tribespeople and Muslim settlers from neighbouring Bangladesh erupted on July 20 when unidentified men killed four Bodo youths. In retaliation, armed Bodos - which dominate Assam's Kokrajhar district - attacked Muslims, suspecting them of being behind the deaths. [...]
So far 61 people have died - some hacked to death with machetes, while dozens of villages have been razed to the ground, forcing both Bodos and Muslims to flee to schools and community centers which have been converted into relief camps.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Fleeing Muslim settlers' violence, India's displaced face disease, death in camps