Over 12,500 return homes in Assam and Meghalaya

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Shillong, Jan 18 (PTI) About 12,500 people have returnedto their villages after having spent over a week in reliefcamps set up in the wake of ethnic violence in East Garo Hillsdistrict of Meghalaya and Goalpara district of Assam.

Lists of the refugees were exchanged at a meetingbetween the officials of both the districts at Goalpara lastevening, official sources said today.

East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Pravin Bakshi saidwhile 6,000 people had returned to their homes in Meghalaya,6,500 others to their villages in Assam.

"Some of the remaining were reluctant to go back. Thereis a sense of insecurity and uncertainty. We have stressed onmore confidence building measures," he said.

As part of the measures, a team from East Garo Hills ledby it DC will visit the relief camps at Goalpara today andinteract with the people to instill confidence among therefugees.

The Goalpara administration will also initiate a similarexercise later.

Meanwhile, joint patrolling was being carried out in thesensitive places along the border areas to prevent anyuntoward incident.

The East Garo Hills administration also asked theirGoalpara counterpart to share information about anyagitational programmes called by the Rabha groups.

One company of Meghalaya Police has been withdrawn fromEast Garo Hills, while the additional paramilitary troopsdeployed in the violence hit areas will remain there forsometime.

Night curfew will also remain in force till absolutenormalcy, officials said.

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