Assam issues shoot-at-sight order

Guwahati, January 10 (AGENCIES): The Union government has sent 10 companies of paramilitary forces to the Assam-Meghalaya border even as the Assam government has issued a shoot-at-sight order to prevent escalation of ethnic violence between the Garos and the Rabhas of the two neighbouring States.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told journalists here on Monday that the ethnic clashes, which broke out in the Mednipathar area in East Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, had so far claimed nine lives and left 20 injured. About 34,000 people had taken shelter in 37 relief camps in lower Assam's Goalpara district.
About 18,000 Rabhas displaced from their villages in Meghalaya were taking shelter in the relief camps. Other inmates included 7,000 Garos and about 9,000 Rabhas of Assam. There was exodus of Garo people living in Assam to Meghalaya following the clashes, he said.
Mr. Gogoi said each affected family would be given three bundles of tin roof sheet and a rehabilitation grant of Rs. 10,000. He also announced an ex gratia of Rs. 3 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased. The Chief Minister reiterated his appeal to both communities to maintain peace and harmony.
“Our priority now is to defuse the situation. I have spoken to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram. I am also in touch with Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma while our Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police are constantly in touch with their counterparts to restore normality,” he said.
The Army's help was taken in defusing the situation and a number of peace meetings were held in the affected and sensitive areas. The police had so far arrested 110 people on charges of being involved in arson and other acts of violence and spreading rumours.
Two more killed taking Garo-Rabha riot toll to 10

Shillong, January 10 (AGENCIES):
Two more people were killed and 12 injured in fresh violence in riot hit areas on the Meghalaya-Assam border, officials said on Monday. Several houses and trucks carrying supplies to the riot hit areas in Meghalaya were also torched on Sunday night at Paikan area on the tense inter state border.  The central government has rushed in Union Joint Secretary Home Affairs in-charge Shambu Singh to the areas to take stock of the situation. The army has also been deployed on the inter state border.  "The (Meghalaya-Assam) border is still tense in view of Sunday's night fresh violence incidents on the other side of the border (Assam)," Meghalaya Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh said.
He, however, maintained that the situation inside Meghalaya's Resubelpara is limping back to normalcy.  The number of deaths have risen to 10 and as many as 300 houses on both sides of the two states have been torched, while nearly 40,000 people have been displaced in ethnic clashes between Garos and Rabhas that entered the tenth day. 
Joint control room to monitor crisis

Shillong, January 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.