Santipur relief camp inmates bid farewell to centenarian
DIMAPUR, JANUARY 13
ACROSS two rivers, covering a distance of 35 kms – between Santipur relief camp and Pherashan village under Khanari – the final journey of 110-year-old Nthuga Nandu Rengma began at sundown on Monday.
The centenarian died on Sunday at around 4 pm inside the Borpathar High School, functioning as a makeshift relief camp for Rengma refugees. Ill-health coupled with the poor conditions of the relief camp had hastened his demise, according to the inmates of the camp.The journey of 35 kms, from Santipur to his native Pherashan village, includes 12 kms walk inside the jungles of Karbi Anglong.
The road connectivity in the area ends at a Karbi village, 23 kms away from Santipur.
It was the final wish of the old man, who till death was the SGB (Sorkari Gaon Bura) of Pherashan, to have his body buried in his native soil.
In his final moments, rendered incapable of speaking, he had scribbled on a piece of paper his desire to be buried in his village. According to his villagers, he had been their SGB since 1940. For the past few years, he was not capable of moving by himself even though his speech was affected only in the final moments of his life.
The funeral caravan was scheduled to journey early Monday morning from the relief camp in Borpathar but was disallowed by the police, before an autopsy was conducted.
He had arrived at the camp on December 30 last, with the help of the villagers who had carried him during their escape. “He could not eat the general food that we have here in the camp, so we used to arrange separate food for him,” the inmates said.
Pherashan, with 56 households, is one of the four component villages that form Khanari village. According to its natives, around 15-20 bigas of the villages’ farmland were burnt by the miscreants.
The village has no road connectivity, electricity, telephone connectivity, water pipeline and not even a single dispensary. The only thing we have is one LP school, one of the villagers informed. A few of the displaced villagers have returned to re-settle in the village, it was learned.