Internal Displacement Among Misings (Assam) need Immediate Attention

On the morning of 19th July, about 700 villagers of Laika and Dodhia villages of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park of Assam entered Tarani reserve forest, armed with bamboo, tarpaulin, axe and bags with the intent of settling there. Those who entered the Tarani Reserve were primarily of the Mising community who were displaced by perennial floods in the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. Moreover, the Mising people had been long demanding for resettlement since the 1980s from the Assam govt. The govt. however is yet to fulfill this promise.

Very soon, the local citizens of the neighboring villages gathered in the Tarani Reserve and resisted the attempts of the Mising people to resettle in the reserve. It led to some arguments and the situation soon heated up. Police forces arrived to the venue and could successfully control it from breaking out into a violent clash. A video grab of the incident is attached herewith

Why this issue need immediate attention?

  1. Assam along with Jammu and Kashmir has the highest number of Internally Displaced people in India. Most of them are displaced due to Conflicts and violence. While those impacted by conflict receive ample attention, very little is known about those displaced by Disasters, in this case, Perennial floods.
  2. In fact, those displaced by are resettled, albeit in camps with basic necessities provided for. The situation in the camps can improve a lot, but they at least have the bare minimum of Shelter, which those displaced by floods like the Misings don’t have access too. They have become people of ‘nowhere’
  3. It has to be noted that the Misings are an indigenous group and settled in the plains of Assam, centuries ago. The Misings have never bothered to register their land or get Land pattas, leaving them no official documentation to prove their right to Land or get access to other social security measures. Thus, it leaves most of the Mising people at the mercy of the government.
  4. The Misings till yet had to fighting for ‘Cultural Protection’ and Territorial Autonomy. With perennial floods, the struggle has now shifted to ‘Survival’.
  5. With no modes of survival left, Majority of the Mising youth are now forced to migrate to other Indian cities and work as Daily wage workers, pushing the community into deeper margins of poverty.

Thus, the govt. of Assam has to take immediate cognizance of the issue and make efforts to resettle the Mising community.