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Joint meet moots army patrolling on border areas

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 22:21

Shillong: The Assam and Meghalaya
governments are contemplating roping in the army for joint
patrolling in the border areas hit by ethnic violence, on a
"long-term basis".

The issue was discussed during a high-level meeting
between of the chief secretaries and DGPs of the two states.

The meeting, held in Guwahati discussed various
confidence building measures, especially with reference to
repatriating those displaced people, who have not yet returned
to their respective states, an official told said.
"As a confidence building measure, both sides were of
the view that a joint patrolling, inclusive of army personnel,
should be undertaken on a long term basis on the affected
areas in Assam and Meghalaya. Discussions will be held with
army authorities in this regard," the official said.

Both sides also agreed to provide text-books to the
violence affected children who would be facing the board exams
in March.
Joint visits, comprising administration officials,
public representatives and community leaders, would be
conducted to Goalpara in Assam where there are some 9,500
displaced people still sheltered in the relief camps and are
reluctant to come back to their villages in Meghalaya.

Currently over 1,300 refugees are still sheltered in
the six relief camps of Meghalaya, while on Assam side there
are some 9,500 refugees displaced in the ethnic riots last
month. About 6,500 in the camps of Assam are those who have
fled from Meghalaya in the wake of violence.

There are reports that unscrupulous elements were
instigating the refugees in Assam, prompting them not to
return, an issue that was taken up during today`s meeting.

The meeting also mooted coverage of the affected
through rural development and urban housing schemes, besides
other livelihood programmes, the official said.

Both sides also decided to take steps for damage
assessment and the demand from the refugees for provision of
one year free ration.

Twelve people were killed, thousands of houses torched
and some 50,000 people displaced in the riots of Meghalaya`s
East Garo Hills and neighbouring Assam`s Goalpara district
between January 1 and 9.


First Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 22:21

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