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2 more killed; Assam-M’laya border remains tense
Correspondent/IANS Shillong, Jan 10:
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Published on 11 Jan. 2011 12:14 AM IST
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Two more people were killed and 12 injured in fresh violence in riot-hit areas of Meghalaya-Assam border, officials said Monday.
Several houses and trucks carrying supplies to the riot-hit areas in Meghalaya were also torched Sunday night at Paikan area on the tense inter-state border.
The Central government rushed in union joint secretary Home Affairs in-charge of North Eastern states Shambu Singh to the areas to take stock of the situation.
More than 100 rioters Monday were arrested for rioting and arsons in Meghalaya’s violence-hit areas of Resubelpara sub-division due to ethnic clashes between Garo and Rabha tribes. “103 people were arrested, while 25 cases have been registered on charges for rioting and arsons,” state’s Director General of Police, S.B Kakati said.
At least, 10 people killed and as many as 300 houses on both sides of the riot-hit areas of Assam’s Goalpara and Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district have been torched.
“8,018 persons are being sheltered in 18 relief camps in Garo Hills. 25 villages have been affected and 1500 houses gutted by arsonists so far due to ethnic clashes between Garo and Rabha tribes,” Kakati said. He said interrogation is going on against the four Rabha Security Force (RSF) rebels, arrested Sunday’s night from the riot-hit areas in Meghalaya’s Balmuri village.
Meanwhile, chief secretaries and director generals of Police of Meghalaya and Assam would meet Tuesday at Dispur, capital of Assam to chalk out a joint patrolling mechanism in violence-hit Goalpara and East Garo Hills districts. The meeting will also be attended union joint secretary MHA Shambu Singh. “We will be meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) with our Assam’s counterparts in presence of Home Ministry officials to chalk out a joint patrolling and strategies to put an end to ethnic violence between Rabha and Garo tribes,” Kakati said.
Shoot-at-sight orders were issued Sunday night on the Assam side and curfew remained clamped on the inter-state border with Meghalaya as the toll in the ethnic strife at Goalpara-East Garo Hills rose to 10.
Ethnic clashes well planned: MHA
Ministry of Home Affairs Monday described the ongoing ethnic-clashes between Garo and Rabha tribes as “very well planned and organised”, but said the situation is slowly limping to normalcy.
“I have visited the (riot-hit) areas and assess the ground situation. The conflict seemed very well pre-planned and well organised, but not spontaneous,” union home affairs jt secretary, Shambu Singh told Nagaland Post. He, however, ruled out the involvement of militants’ in the clashes, pending investigations.Ruling out involvement of militants in the ethnic flare-up, Singh said 89 people have been arrested by the army from along the Assam-Meghalaya border and seized a register assigning names of people to create trouble in riot-hit areas.
“From the arrest, it has been initially established the conflict was planned and there maybe some organizations behind it. The clashes were not spontaneous,” Singh said after his initial assessment of the ethnic clash. “We will investigate into it and action will be taken against those who incite the ethnic clashes,” he added.
On the Monday’s firing in the Assam-Meghalaya, Singh said the firing which was opened from Meghalaya side was done meticulously. However, security forces have seized one AK-47 Rifle and one Light Machine Gun from the scene of the firing.
“We are also investigating into it to find out who are they,” the visiting Home official said, while denying the involvement of the outlawed A’chik National Volunteers Council, a tribal Garo rebel group in the clash.
Singh, who visited the relief camps in both sides of the states said the situation was returning to normalcy in East Garo Hills, but security assessment suggest more troops are needed on the Assam side.

 
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