Additional paramilitary forces were today deployed in abandoned villages and sensitive areas in and around ethnic violence-hit East Garo Hills district, even as curfew was relaxed for six hours at Resubelpara subdivision.
Meghalaya Home Minister H D R Lyndoh, who chaired a high-level security meeting here, said paramilitary forces sent by the Centre had also been deployed in relief camps in the district along the Meghalaya-Assam border where the affected people have taken shelter.
"The additional companies of paramilitary forces are expected to remain deployed for a few months," he said. "Supply of essential commodities have been affected due to the curfew and blockade called by All Rabha Students Union.
But now the supply lines have been more or less normalised and communication restored," Lyndoh said. Meanwhile, the toll in the ethnic violence rose to eight with the recovery of a body on the Assam side yesterday.
However, apart from torching of some houses at Adolgre area along the border last night, no fresh incidents were reported during the day. Lyndoh also asked the residents and media to discourage rumour mongering and said social activists, church leaders, representatives of various organisations and politicians were working to build confidence among the people to restore normalcy in the affected areas. East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi told PTI that the situation was under control and curfew was relaxed for six hours from 11 AM.
"The border areas are, however, still tense and strict vigil was being maintained by security forces led by magistrates at all strategic points," he said.
Bodies of four persons killed in Meghalaya were handed over to Krishnai police station in Assam, while those killed on the Assam side were handed over to Mendipathar police station, officials said.
The economic blockade called against Meghalaya by All Rabha Students Union was suspended last night. Nearly 30,000 people have been displaced in the ethnic clashes that began on January 1, with over 15,000 of them taking refuge in 25 relief camps set up on both sides of the border, they said.