Hill Voice, 3 April 2020, Rajshahi: 1200 Santal families from Gaibanda district and 2000 families of Santal, Paharia and Oraon from Rajshahi district are facing humanitarian crisis during the lockdown against infestation of Covid-19. These villages are Bagan Para, Possim Tali Para, Sheikh Para, Molla Para, Aligarh, Miapur, Kalimnagar, Paba Natun Para, Boroban Gram Shekh Para, Rowada Para Kusar Centre, Koikuri, Haldibona, Santoshpur, Gopalpur, Andarkotha Para under Rajshahi Metropolitan area. Around 2000 indigenous people are living in these areas. Most of the villagers are day laborers living hand to mouth; a few are rickshaw puller and some are peasant/agricultural laborer. During the lockdown, they have to stay at home, and have no work and income to lead their daily lives. The stock they had has already ended up or is going to be finished. But, they are still out of the government relief goods.
On the other hand, the families from three villages- Kuamara, Madarpur and Joypurpara under Gobindaganj in Gaibandha district are also dealing their daily lives with no income and work. It is known that most of the people from these villages are staying their home due to the panic of Covid-19. It is alleged that they are getting nothing from the administration. The Santals also alleged that they have been kept aside from such kind of government assistance after the clash on Sahebganj-Bagda-Farm Issue.
Mr. Ramkrishna Barman, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Gobindaganj upazila said that the allocated assistance given from the government was distributed by the chairman of Union Parishad. Almost 30 families from Sahebganj-Bagda Farm were also on that distribution process. We are thinking to give assistance to 300/400 families more in the next step.
It is to be mentioned that a tripartite clash on a dispute land in Sahebganj-Bagda Farm area, among Santals, Officials of Rangpur Sugar Mill and the police was happened on 6 November 2016. Three Santals were shot dead and twenty people including nine police personal injured in that incident. The 1200 families of Santals were evicted from the land at that time.