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M’laya for joint police patrolling in riot-hit areas
Correspondent SHILLONG, JAN 7:
Published on 8 Jan. 2011 12:04 AM IST
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The Meghalaya government Friday proposed Assam of a joint police patrolling in the riot hit areas to contain the ethnic clashes between Garo and Rabha tribals.
Altogether, eight people died in the clash and 30, 000 people remained homeless after clashes between the two warring tribes on New Year’s Day. Curfew in the Resubelpara sub-division in East Garo Hills district bordering Assam was relaxed for three hours from 2 pm.
“I have spoken to my Assam counterpart today (Friday) and proposed him of a joint police patrolling to contain the clashes in both areas,” Meghalaya Chief Secretary W.M.S Pariat said.
“Once the Assam government considers our proposal both the state (Assam and Meghalaya) police will workout the ground modalities to conduct the joint patrolling,” Pariat added. He said the situation in the areas is under control and there have been no reports of any fresh incidents during the last 24 hours. Both the state governments are setting up relief camps to accommodate the sea of displaced people in East Garo Hills and Goalpara districts of Meghalaya and Assam respectively.
In East Garo Hills, ten relief camps have been set up so far. “We have at least 5400 displaced people in these camps from both Rabha and Garo communities in the last count and it has been reported that another 30,000 are in various camps of Assam,” Pariat said.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Police has declared 250-300 square km area in
Mendipathar and from Dainadubi to Bajengdoba under Resubelpara sub-division as “vulnerable areas”.
“We have asked the Centre to infuse five more additional companies of para-military forces to the area. We wanted to restore the law and order and we hope that the security measures will instill confidence among the people,” Kakati said.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who left for New Delhi Friday to participate in the annual convention for overseas Indians, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is expected to meet Home Minister P Chidambaram and brief him on the over all law and order situation following the ethnic clashes. Meghalaya home minister H.D.R.Lyngdoh, who visited the riot-hit areas in Resubelpara held meetings with civil society groups’ and political leaders to defuse the situation. Union Minister Agatha K Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma and Leader of Opposition Conrad K Sangma also visited the riot-hit areas and appealed to the cross-section of people to maintain peace.
Earlier, Curfew was relaxed in Resubelpara area for three hours from 2 pm to allow people buy essentials. No untoward incident was reported during the relaxation period. ‘We will be monitoring the law and order situation during the relaxation period and a decision for further relaxation will be taken accordingly,’ East Garo district Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said.
Meanwhile, people are facing an acute shortage of essential commodities, even as the district administration in East Garo Hills, meanwhile, is struggling to provide basic amenities to the inmates in the relief camps.
‘There is complete shortage of food. We don’t even have rice and salt and we are expecting the government to provide immediate relief,’ said L.C. Momin, a villager in Resubelpara.
“Yes, the supplies are drying up in the all the three districts of Garo Hills as the curfew and blockade by various groups on the main supply route is hampering delivery of essential commodities,” Bakshi said.
The government has been running helicopter services twice a day to ferry people stranded in the Garo Hills to return to Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya.
‘Essential commodities, including petrol and diesel, may be also air lifted for supply to Garo Hills if the impasse continues,’ Transport Minister A.T. Mondal said.

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