Death toll rises to nine; several houses in three villages torched
Fresh violence erupted along Assam-Meghalaya border areas with miscreants torching several houses in three villages and setting ablaze a truck carrying relief materials on Saturday night and Sunday.
Two more persons were killed taking the death toll in ongoing ethnic clashes between the Garos and the Rabhas to nine.
Of the nine lives claimed by ethnic violence, five died on Assam side and four in Meghalaya.
Over 30,000 people belonging to both the communities have been displaced and taken shelter in make-shift relief camps.
A large number of the displaced people have been rendered homeless with their house and granaries being torched and livestock destroyed and looted during the clashes.
Assam and Meghalaya on Sunday decided to set up a joint Control Room following a review of the situation at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary N.K. Das.
The meeting was also attended by a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, who has arrived in the State to assess the situation following ethnic clashes at Mendipathar in East Garo Hills district and spill over of the conflict to several Rabha and Garo villages in Goalpara district along the inter-State boundary.
Official sources said more forces have been rushed to the troubled areas while curfew has lifted from affected areas along National Highway No 37. The All-Rabha Students' Union has also called off its 500-hour economic blockade programme to facilitate movement of relief materials. Assam Government has appealed to the people not to be misled by rumours over the clashes.
The State Government cautioned the people that vested interests were spreading rumours in a bid to make matters worse in the troubled areas.
It also urged the people to immediately inform the police and the administration whenever anyone was found spreading rumour or indulging in any other act that might deteriorate the situation.