Meghalaya Government on crisis control mode


Shillong, Jan 10 (NNN): The Meghalaya government has decided to set up a joint control room at the ethnic strife torn area of Mendipathar in East Garo Hills district of Meghalaya. Garos and Rabhas in the Assam-Meghalaya have clashed recently.
Informing this today, Director General of Police (DGP), SB Kakati said, “The control room would monitor the situation and verify the rumours and disseminate the information to the people.”
Besides, the DGP along with Meghalaya Principal Secretary (Home) will meet their counterparts and the Home Ministry team led by its joint secretary Shambhu Singh in Guwahati tomorrow. The DGP informed that on Tuesday, the meeting will decide to have a joint patrolling by police from both the states in the violence-hit areas.
However, he informed that altogether 103 persons have been arrested and 25 cases of attempted arson have been registered so far in the ethnic-violence – hit areas in Meghalaya.
Kakati also said that around 26 villages have been affected in Meghalaya and some 1500 houses were burnt.
Meanwhile, the DGP also informed that 14 companies of paramilitary and police have been deployed in the affected areas and 18 relief camps were set up in Meghalaya.
The ethnic clashes between Garo and Rabha tribal people in areas straddling the Assam-Meghalaya border have displaced 34,412 persons, 18,085 from Meghalaya. These people are staying in 37 relief camps the Assam government has set up in western Assam.
“The official death toll is nine, five on the Assam side and four on the Meghalaya said,” Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said, adding 120 people injured in the clashes were undergoing treatment in government hospitals.
“We have set up a joint monitoring cell with the Meghalaya government. We have also set up a special investigating team, whose role now is to restore peace and go into the reasons behind the clashes later.
However, we are trying to find out of Meghalaya-based militant outfits are involved,” the Assam chief minister said.
It is worth noting that few days ago Meghalaya chief minister, Dr Mukul Sangma had asked Union Defence Minister A K Antony to deploy army in the affected areas to help in controlling the situation in the ethnic-violence hit Assam-Meghalaya border areas.
Sangma also  informed that he had also apprised the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on the situation in the ethnic-violence hit Assam-Meghalaya border areas and stressed on the need for strengthening the presence of security forces.
He said exercise is being done involving social activists, church leaders, politicians to spread the message of peace.
According to him reports of exodus from both sides are pouring in and over 5,000 affected people are being sheltered in the relief camps.

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