Shoot-at-sight orders on Assam side, curfew on

Shoot-at-sight orders on Assam side, curfew on

Official sources said shoot-at-sight orders were issued by the Assam government after a high-level security meeting at Dispur last night.

Goalpara Deputy Commissioner P K Goswami said over phone that two bodies were recovered on the Assam side on Sunday evening, taking the toll in the ethnic clash between the Rabhas and Garos to 10.

East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said Garo-dominated Chigism, Kaldang and Kasikgara villages in Assam were attacked yesterday and 200 Garo women and children fled to East Garo Hills and sought refuge at Hudakona primary school compound during the night.

They were shifted to relief camps by army troops, who arrived on the scene early today. Besides, a vehicle carrying relief material was also torched injuring 11 people, two of them critically at Paikan in Goalpara.

Following the arson attacks on the Garo villages, a mob frenzy began to build up since yesterday and Gendabari Rabha village on the Meghalaya side was set ablaze during the day.

Security forces with the help of army moved in swiftly and cut off all entry and exit routes between the two districts to prevent any escalation of violence, Bakshi said. In view of the incidents, curfew remained clamped at Resbulpara subdivision of East Garo Hills and in the four police station areas of Dudhmoi, Krishnai, Dhupdhara and Rangajuli of Assam, official sources said.

Security forces have detained several arsonists from both Assam and Meghalaya and taken them under preventive detention. Official sources said a team of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs team led by joint secretary Sambhu Singh reached the border and will hold a review meeting at Resubelpara during the day. He would later hold another meeting at Guwahati, the sources said.

Meanwhile, four militants belonging to Rabha Security Force(RSF) were apprehended by BSF from Balmuri village in East Garo Hills district during a search operation yesterday, Bakshi said.

The militants had planned to attack Garo villages. The BSF troops had undertaken a cordon and search operation to check movement of militants and storing of weapons.

They also confiscated a 12 bore rifle, a country-made pistol, khukris, daggers, fire crackers, explosive materials, bow and arrows, mobile phones, crude bombs and 300 ml of kerosene from the militants, he said.

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