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Home > News > Report

Nearly 10,000 Biharis back home from Assam

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | January 10, 2007 11:59 IST

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Nearly 10,000 fear-stricken Bihar migrant labourers from Assam returned to their native villages in last forty eight hours to escape death shadow of United Liberation Front of Asom militants. Many more are likely to return to native state fearing threat to life.

"We are happy to back home, we are safe, no threat of death any more," Basheshar Rai, who alighted from Brahmaputra Mail at Patna Junction said. Rai was one of the dozens of migrant labourers who returned to Bihar as he was shaken by the recent killings.

Rai, who was working as milkman in Dibrugarh like hundreds of others from his home district of Vaishali said Assam was no longer a safe place for them. "Biharis were killed by ULFA because they disliked our struggle to earn livelihood. They threatened us to leave Assam if we want safety," Rai told rediff.com.

A senior railway official at Patna Junction said there is a rush in all the trains coming from Assam. "We got information that there was rush at all the major railway stations in Assam as Bihari labourers wait for train to return home" official said.

Most of the labourers back home said that they will never return to Assam because life is not secure. "Who will guarantee safety and protection from ULFA?" Mahesh Yadav, another migrant labourer asked. "I will have to search for livelihood now but at least I am alive," he said.

Some of them like Munna Paswan, who was working at a brick kiln in Tinsukia said that he was worried about his future as there is no job in his native village in Samastipur. "We are poor, our future is dark, there is no move to provide us work in the state" Paswan said.

After escaping safely from the killing fields of ULFA, migrant labourers said they can to go without food for days in their native villages. They said the killings have created panic among Bihari labourers in Assam." Fear for life haunts all Biharis in Assam, even local police advised us to leave Tinsukia for safety," Sudesh Rai, who returned from Shivsagar district along with twenty other labourers, said.

According to an estimate, nearly 2 lakh migrant labourers or workers from BIhar have been working in different parts of Assam. Most of them at brick kilns, as rickshaw pullers, and milkmen. A few of them have even been engaged in small businesses.

Officials of the labour department said that the migrant workers mostly belong to the poorest sections of Dalits and backward castes and had migrated to earn a livelihood.





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