GUWAHATI, Jan 10 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that the Assam Government is in touch with the Meghalaya Government on the issue of incidents of ethnic clash between the Garos and the Rabhas. The Chief Minister, who was addressing media persons at a press conference at his official conference room here, said that he has been talking to Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on the incidents.
The Chief Minister also made an appeal to both the communities to maintain peace and amity so as to facilitate restoration of normalcy in the trouble-torn areas.
He said that the State Government has no evidence of the involvement of surrendered militants and Christian Missionaries in the ongoing ethnic clash between the Rabhas and the Garos. The incidents of clash between the two tribal groups of Meghalaya and Assam in the inter-state border areas of the two states are taking place since January 4.
Gogoi admitted that there are complaints of involvement of surrendered militants in the incidents of ethnic clash in these areas.
But when asked to comment on the possibility of the involvement of Christian Missionaries in the incidents, he said that the State Government has no evidence of their involvement. He also refrained from commenting on the alleged lapses on the part of the Meghalaya Government.
�Peace is our first priority at this moment. We are to go for restoration of peace and normalcy first of all. Only after achieving this, we will go for analysing who is responsible for the present situation. At this moment, fault-finding attitude is not going to serve any purpose,� said the Chief Minister.
He informed the newspersons that nine persons have so far been killed, four of them in Meghalaya areas, during the ongoing incidents of clash. Twenty persons in Assam side have reportedly been injured, he said.
In all, 37 relief camps have been set up with 34,412 inmates. About 18,000 of them are from Meghalaya and 16,000 from Assam and they belong to both the ethnic groups. About 7,000 of them are Garos.
Army has been deployed and Army and paramilitary forces� personnel have been patrolling the trouble-torn areas. Improvement in the situation is expected soon, he said.
Meanwhile, leading personalities like Hema Kakati, secretary, Sarvodaya Trust, Nishinath Changkakati, member, Sarvodaya Trust, Joylaxmi Bora, secretary, Asam Pradeshik Mahila Samity, Kushum Bora Mokashi, Pratinidhi , Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust and Dr Chiranjeeb Kakati of the NESPYM have made an appeal to the people to play a part in rebuilding mutual trust and respect between the Garo and Rabha communities so that they can coexist peacefully.
The Garo National Council, Goalpara-Kamrup district unit, made an appeal to both the communities to respect the age-old bond between them and stop the incidents of violence immediately.
The Janajati Parishad of the AGP has sought intervention of the Central Government and sent memorandum with this request to the President of India and the State Governor.