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1 stabbed in Meghalaya, panic-stricken workers flee State

By STAFF correspondent

SHILLONG, March 5 - After a few days of lull, violence struck the State capital again with one more person getting stabbed at Mawkhar this morning. The injured person has been identified as S Islam, a worker, who was admitted to the Shillong Civil hospital.

Although there is adequate deployment of security forces, stray cases of violence have not stopped completely. Apart from the CRPF and the BSF, the Rapid Action Force has also been called in to contain the unrest.

On the other hand, hundreds of panic-stricken workers have fled Ichamati village to Assam following the violence on Friday last. Around 250 workers left for their homes in different districts of Assam today. They were provided assistance by the district administration to cross the border safely.

The workers were ferried in trucks from Ichamati and dropped at Jorabat, from where they proceeded further on to their respective homes.

According to some workers, they sought refuge in nearby jungles after a clash broke out at Ichamati between the Khasi Students� Union members and the villagers. They said that they were provided protection by BSF personnel. On Wednesday, they were asked to report to the local police station and later advised to leave the State.

�After the violence, our employer provided us places to hide as there was tension. We stayed in the jungle before the BSF and local police contacted us,� a worker said.

Meanwhile, the BSF has intensified patrolling along the Indo-Bangladesh border. According to East Khasi Hills DC, M War, most of these people were workers employed in stone quarries. These workers left for their homes today, War said.

Other cases of stone pelting and arson were also reported from parts of the State capital and Ri-Bhoi district. Due to the sporadic violence, the district administration has not lifted curfew in areas around Bara Bazaar, although curfew was relaxed from 6 am to 9 pm in the State capital. Night curfew from 9 pm to 6 am will continue to remain in force.

Meanwhile, students have been appearing in their board examinations under tight security. Special arrangements have been made by the district administration to ferry students to the examination centres in some parts of the State capital.

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