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Rabha refugees in Medipather College playground, Meghalaya on Wednesday. (EP)
Correspondent Shillong, Jan 5:
Published on 6 Jan. 2011 12:55 AM IST
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Four people were killed and eight injured Wednesday in an ethnic clash between the Garo and Rabha tribals along Meghalaya-Assam border, official said.
“Three Rabha youths died and eight (all Rabhas) injured after they were attacked by a mob at Golkugre area under Bajengdoba police station,” Sylvester Nongtynger, the police chief of Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district, said.
The Rabha youths were traveling in bus from Tura, the district headquarters’ of West Garo Hills in western part Meghalaya towards Assam, police said.
Another person was shot dead in Assam’s Goalpara district bordering the violence-hit area in Meghalaya, Goalpara police chief Luish Aind said.
In retaliation to the killings, the Rabha’s went on rampage torching several houses belonging to the Garos Torika, Berubari, Darakona, Nebari and Rongketchi under Bajengdoba police station.
Meghalaya home minister H.D.R Lyngdoh said the situation is ‘very tense’ in the violence-hit areas.
Curfew was imposed in Mendipathar and adjoining areas bordering Assam’s Goalpara district Monday night after clashes between the Garo and Rabha tribals. However, curfew was relaxed for three hours this afternoon.
“I am leaving to the area (Mendipathar area) to assess the security scenario. I also appealed to cross-section of people not to pay heed to rumour mongers. People who incite trouble and disturb the peace will be booked,” Lyngdoh said.
He said three companies of BSF, besides two companies of state police have been deployed in the violence-hit areas, while the Army has been kept on standby.
More than 2,000 Rabha families have been displaced after more than 200 houses were allegedly torched by Garo tribals in retaliation for recent attacks on Garos by Rabha youths, police said.
Earlier in the day, officials and civil society groups, including the powerful Garo Students Union, met Goalpara district officials and the All Rabha Students Union at Goalpara circuit house and constituted a peace committee to diffuse the growing tension.

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