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Day curfew lifted in M’laya’s riot-hit areas
Mendipathar/Guwahati, Jan 14 (IANS/Agencies):
Published on 14 Jan. 2011 11:04 PM IST
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After more than a week of tension, people in the riot-hit areas of Meghalaya’s Resulbelpara breathed easier Friday as curfew was relaxed during day time.
Amid massive security arrangements, life returned to near normalcy in the sub-division, which was rocked by ethnic violence between the Garo and Rabha tribes that was sparked off on New Year’s Day. More than 2,000 internally displaced people have been repatriated to their homes. “The situation is returning to normal. People have started leaving the relief camps to return to their respective homes,” East Garo Hills District Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi told IANS.
“The day curfew has been lifted, but night curfew will continue till the situation is completely normal,” he said. Bakshi said prohibitory orders banning the assembly of more than five people will continue to be in force in the riot-hit areas. Indefinite curfew was imposed in Mendipathar and adjoining areas of East Garo Hills district Jan 3 night after clashes started between the Garo and Rabha tribal groups.
Joint Secretary (Northeastern States) Shambu Singh had told IANS the ethnic clashes between the two warring tribes on the Assam-Meghalaya border were “very well planned and there maybe some organisations behind it.” “We will investigate and action will be taken against those who incited the clashes,” Singh said.
The influential Garo Students Union asked the central government to institute a commission of inquiry to probe the conflict. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has announced compensation of Rs.3 lakh to the next of kin of those killed and Rs.10,000 each for displaced families. The government would bear all expenses for the treatment of the injured, he added.
AASU relief for clash victims
Aasu members distributed woolens, biscuits and candles among hundreds of Garo-Rabha clash victims at relief camps in Assam’s Goalpara district on Thursday. Over 30,000 people, who lost their homes owing to the clashes that began since January 1 along the state’s border with Meghalaya, are at present staying in these camps.
The relief aids were collected from different places of the state by Aasu members, who pledged to continue helping the relief camp inmates.
The Aasu initiative got support from organizations such as the Rabha Students’ Union, the Nikhil Rabha Students’ Union, the Garo Students’ Union and the Marwari Yuva Sanstha. Representatives of the Assam Textile Merchants’ Association accompanied the Aasu members to the Goalpara camps.
Leaders of the largest students’ organization in Assam took a dig at the Assam government for the latter’s alleged indifference towards the clash victims. “The state took no initiative to stop the clashes for days together,” an Aasu leader said, adding that it was following the student union’s intervention that the state sent security forces to the trouble-torn areas.

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