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Shoot-at-sight orders issued

india Updated: Jan 11, 2011 00:53 IST

Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued on the Assam side of the border with Meghalaya even as a Central team visiting the ethnic violence-hit areas on Monday said that the clashes seemed to be "well planned."

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said that the shoot-at sight orders were issued yesterday in all the border areas where curfew was imposed to prevent further escalation of violence or arson and burning of houses.

Gogoi said nine persons have been killed, 20 injured and nearly 3,500 rendered homeless since trouble started on Tuesday. Earlier Goalpara deputy commissioner P K Goswami had said that 10 people died in the clashes between Rabhas and Garos.

Vigilance has been stepped up, particularly in the sensitive areas where there was possibility of recurrence of trouble and army deployed there, Gogoi said.

A joint Assam-Meghalaya control room had been set up at Mandipathar for maintenance of law and order, he said, adding he was also in regular touch with his Meghalaya counterpart Mukul Sangma to take stock of the situation.

Senior Assam ministers Bhumidhar Barman, Rockybul Hussain, Pramila Rani Brahma, chief secretary and DGP had also visited the affected areas.

Gogoi said that the next of kin of those killed would be given a compensation of Rs three lakh and injured Rs 50,000, besides Rs 10,000 and three bundles of roof tin to those whose houses were burnt down by arsonists.

The home ministry team led by Joint Secretary Shambu Singh said that the clashes appeared to be "well-planned" and did not rule out the hand of "underground groups".

The MHA team discussed the situation with officials of East Garo Hills and Goalpara districts administration at Resubelpara circuit house in Meghalaya.

In New Delhi, Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma submitted a representation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apprising him about the situation.

Sangma sought Central intervention saying steps taken by Assam government to contain the violence on its side were not adequate.

In Shillong, Meghalaya DGP S B Kakati said 103 people have been arrested and 25 cases of attempted arson and rioting registered in the violence-hit areas in the state.

Around 26 villages have been affected in Meghalaya and some 1,500 houses burnt, he said.

The DGP said that 14 companies of paramilitary and police have been deployed in the affected areas and 18 relief camps set up in Meghalaya to shelter the displaced people.