Situation improving in Meghalaya’s riot-hit areas: Minister

Saturday, January 8, 2011

SHILLONG - Meghalaya Home Minister H.D.R Lyngdoh Saturday said the situation in the riot-hit areas of the state was improving, even as authorities further relaxed curfew in the Resubelpara sub-division in East Garo Hills district.

The situation in the entire Resubelpara sub-division is improving, but it is still tense in the (Assam-Meghalaya) border, Lyngdoh told IANS after reviewing the security situation with the state’s senior police and home department officials.

Eight people were killed in ethnic clashes between Garo and Rabha tribals along the Assam-Meghalaya border. The violence displaced some 30,000 people who fled their homes since the New Year’s Day.

The curfew was relaxed for six hours Saturday starting 11 a.m.

“The situation is limping back to normalcy. Therefore, we decided to lift the curfew for another six hours to ensure people could buy essential commodities,” East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi told IANS.

Lyngdoh said two peace committees — at the joint inter-district (East Garo Hills and Goalpara) and village levels — have been constituted as part of confidence building measures.

The peace committees comprised of district officials, religious leaders and civil society groups from both the warring tribes.

We are putting all efforts to restore normalcy in the riot-hit areas. An additional company of five more central paramilitary forces are expected to arrive there (Resubelpara), Lyngdoh said.

He added that one section of police personnel will be deployed in abandoned villages to prevent further burning of vacant houses and instill confidence in the minds of the people.

Supplies of essential commodities have been brought to the riot-hit areas and other areas in Garo Hills region under security cover, Lyngdoh said.

As many as nine oil tankers laden with petrol, diesel and kerosene and trucks laden with essential commodities were brought in from Assam.

Both the Meghalaya and Assam governments are setting up relief camps to accommodate the displaced people in East Garo Hills and Goalpara districts of Meghalaya and Assam respectively.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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