NEW DELHI, Jan 8 � In a bid to defuse tension, Assam and Meghalaya governments have agreed to deploy Army in the troubled spots on both sides of the inter-State border.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told this newspaper that directions have been given to call out the Army to conduct flag marches in the riot-hit areas. �Though we cannot deploy the Army on a permanent basis for law and order purposes,� he added.
Meghalaya Chief Minister, Dr Mukul Sangma told newsmen that they have moved the Ministry of Defence seeking permission for deployment of Army on their side of the border.
Acting on a request from the State Government, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sanctioned additional five companies of Central Para-military Forces (CPMF), he further added.
Both Sangma and Gogoi shared the dais at a function organised on the occasion of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) held at Vigyan Bhavan here this afternoon.
Talking to newsmen on the sidelines of the conference, Sangma said that the situation in riot-hit areas was still tense but under control. Both the State Governments are trying to bring the situation under control. �We need some help from Government of India and we are in close touch with the Home Ministry,� he said.
�There is visible presence of security personnel and we are constantly monitoring the situation. Besides, we have appealed to all section of people to maintain peace,� said Sangma, adding that he was also in touch with Gogoi.
He further added that it was important that the people of the area of take the initiative to ensure return of normalcy.
First priority is to take care of the displaced persons and then to ensure that the affected people return home, he said, replying to a question.
The Rabha-Garo clashes along the Assam-Meghalaya border have left eight dead and over 30,000 homeless.