Shillong: Indefinite curfew remained in force
on Tuesday in ethnic violence-hit pockets of Meghalaya`s East Garo
Hills district, bordering Assam, where BSF personnel staged a
flag march following the clashes which prompted the state to
seek Army assistance.
"Army has been requisitioned and the administration is
awaiting approval from the Centre for its deployment...100 BSF
personnel staged flag march in some clash-hit areas, while 200
more would arrive tomorrow," Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi
Indefinite curfew was clamped in Mendipathar, Salpara,
Adokgre, Horinkata, Bajengdoba, Nolbari and Manikganj areas
since last night after several cases of arson and burning of
over 50 houses.
"The situation is tense. There would be no relaxation
of curfew as of now," Bakshi, camping in the area, said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma reviewed the
situation with top officials and visited the relief camps
where around 2,500 people affected in the flare-up between
Garo and Rabha groups at Nolbari bordering East Garo Hills
district and Assam`s Goalpara district were sheltered.
Urged people to maintain peace and not to be swayed by
rumours, Sangma said, "We have asked for more forces and the
Centre has responded positively...It is very important to
ensure tolerance in the pluralistic nature of our democracy.
There can be no room for hatred."
The trouble began between the two ethnic groups on
Saturday and again flared-up yesterday.
A Meghalaya government statement attributed the clash to
Some 3,000 people belonging to Rabha community crossed
over to Assam after being targeted by Garo groups, while
several hundreds were evacuated from the villages and shifted
to a relief camp at Mendipathar College by the district
Meghalaya Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh said the state
government is in touch with Assam to control the situation.
In a related development, the All Rabha Students Union
called for a 500-hour economic blockade against Meghalaya,
protesting harassment by "miscreants".