GUWAHATI, Jan 10 � The Joint Secretary (North East) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Sambhu Singh today visited the ethnic riot-hit areas along the Assam-Meghalaya border to assess the ground situation, while a fresh incident of exchange of fire took place along the border this evening.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the senior official of the MHA, while reviewing the situation, held two meetings�one with the officials of the Assam Government in Goalpara and the other was a joint meeting involving officers of both Assam and Meghalaya near Belpara along the inter-state boundary.
Sources said that the meeting discussed several issues like requirement of forces to deal with the situation and planned out strategies for deployment of the available forces in the vulnerable areas. Sources said that other issues like steps needed to be taken to rehabilitate the displaced people were also discussed in the meeting. It may be mentioned here that more than 30,000 people have been displaced in the riots so far.
Sources said that five additional companies of paramilitary forces have already been sent to Goalpara district to deal with the situation, while, some more forces are likely to reach the affected areas by tomorrow.
Official sources revealed that the process of rehabilitation of the affected people would be carried out in phases after the process of additional deployment of forces is completed as �it would not be safe to send the displaced people back home without adequate security cover.�
Meanwhile, a fresh incident of exchange of fire took place between Assam Police personnel and miscreants near Belpara under Krishnai Police Station around 5.30 pm today. Police sources revealed that no one was injured in the incident and the identity of the miscreants involved is yet to be ascertained. The Meghalaya Police is also trying to ascertain the identity of the miscreants involved as the incident took place near the inter-state boundary.
Our Shillong Correspondent adds: Meghalaya and Assam Director Generals of Police and Union Home Ministry officials would meet Tuesday at Guwahati to chalk out a joint patrolling mechanism in violence-hit Goalpara and Garo Hills districts. Meanwhile, 103 rioters were, arrested in Meghalaya today.
Meghalaya DGP, SB Kakati said, he would meet his Assam counterpart at Dispur together with Home Ministry officials and try to work out a joint strategy to put an end to ethnic violence between Rabha and Garo communities. For the past ten days ethnic clash is on in the two districts.