TURA, Feb 24 � The district administration of East Garo Hills organized the biggest-ever peace meeting in Resubelpara mini stadium today with more than 1000 people from both the Garo and Rabha communities participating in large numbers to help restore permanent peace between the two communities in the wake of last month�s ethnic strife that led to the deaths of approximately ten people from both sides.
A ceremonial welcome was organized by the district administration for the Rabha representatives who came along with the Deputy Commissioner of Goalpara to assess the security arrangements in East Garo Hills.
Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of Goalpara district, the convenor of Shanti Mission, Dudhnoi along with representatives of relief camps of Rabhas in Goalpara and Nokmas, Sordars and Laskars of East Garo Hills participated in the meeting. As per reports hundreds of people have already begun returning to the transit camps in Meghalaya.
The joint peace meeting of Garo and Rabha communities was presided over by the Deputy Commissioner, East Garo Hills, Pravin Bakshi while FW Momin, C&RD Minister was the chief guest of the event to welcome the Rabha representatives and to explore possibilities of their early return within a few days. T D Shira , MLA Resubelpara also attended the meeting .
Speaking on the occasion the chief guest of the function, FW Momin urged the Rabhas to return to the villages in East Garo Hills as soon as possible as peace had returned and the villagers were eager to welcome and assist the displaced people. He requested the representatives of the relief camps to see for themselves the peace which had returned and made an appeal to them to get rid of their fears and mindsets and return back to claim the relief and compensation package that was offered by the administration. He also urged the people not to listen to rumours and to play a constructive role in peace and development. He said that there would be some miscreants always who would want to derail the peace process and cause mischief but that has to be thwarted by the early return of the Rabhas and confidence building measures .
TD Shira also speaking on the occasion, made an emotional appeal to the displaced Rabha people to return to their villages to protect and to take stock of their land and property. He observed that peace had prevailed and there was no need for the displaced people to have any unfounded fears. He opined that unless and until the displaced people return to their camps, damage assessment and compensation package will be difficult .
Deputy Commissioner of Goalpara, Dr P Ashok Babu also spoke on the occasion and thanked the people behind the restoration of peace and harmony and thanked the NGOs and representatives of the Church for their proactive role in bringing back peace. He requested the people to come back as the situation was normal and under control in East Garo Hills .
The Deputy Commissioner, East Garo Hills also implored the people not to pay heed to the circulation of rumours and observed that random and stray incidents should be ignored and not given importance as there was peace by and large. He listed out the difficulties faced by the administrations of East Garo Hills and Goalpara in the continuous running of camps and urged the displaced Rabha people to return to the villages as that was their real home and not the relief camps in another State . He expressed his satisfaction that many people have returned and many people have already expressed their keen desire to return.