Joint patrolling in Assam-Meghalaya border areas

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 23:34

Shillong: The Assam and Meghalaya
governments today decided to conduct joint patrolling in the
ethnic violence-hit areas along their borders and exchange
information in a bid to restore peace.

The additional director generals of police of the two
states have been asked to chalk out the exercise, Meghalaya
DGP S B Kakati said after a meeting of top police and
government officials of both states at Guwahati in the
presence of a Union Home Ministry team led by its Joint
Secretary Shambhu Singh.

"The discussion was focussed on joint efforts to
restore normalcy," Kakati who also visited the violence-hit
Mendipathar in Meghalaya`s East Garo Hills, said over phone.

The meeting also proposed joint visits by officials to
the affected areas and efforts to ensure that the inmates of
relief camps were rehabilitated, he said, adding steps to
restore normal inter-state movement of vehicles were also
discussed.

A joint police control room was set up at Mendipathar
police station for speedy exchange of information and
verification of rumours and two commandant-level officers of
both states have been given charge of it, Kakati said.

In Shillong, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma
announced ex gratia of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of
victims who died in the clash.

"We are ensuring visible presence of security forces.
The situation has been brought under control. Attempts to defy
the curfew and indulge in violence have been thwarted,"
Sangma said, adding social activists and members of civil
society have been engaged in the relief operations.

More senior officers have been engaged in the affected
areas and more and more displaced people were coming from
Assam to relief camps set up in Meghalaya, he said.

At least nine people have been killed and around
50,000 displaced in the ethnic violence that began on January
1. Altogether 103 people have been arrested and 25 cases of
attempted arson and rioting registered so far in Meghalaya,
where 26 villages have been affected and about 1500 houses
burnt, Kakati said.

A decision to relax curfew in violence-hit
Resubelpara sub-division of Meghalaya was recalled after fresh
incidents of confrontation between two groups this morning.

East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said
the administration had decided to relax curfew for three hours
from 12 noon but it was revoked after the clash.

Some Rabha refugees tried to return to their village
at Bakrakura in Meghalaya when a Garo group confronted them.

Police had to rush there to diffuse the tension, he said.

There were reports of anti-Rabha posters being put up
at Tura, the district headquarter town of neighbouring West
Garo Hills district.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 23:34

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