Bid to torch house foiled, reconciliation initiatives on

Shillong, Jan 30 (PTI) The authorities thwartedmiscreants'' attempt to torch a house in the ethnic-riot hitEast Garo Hills district of Meghalaya and scotched rumours ontime to prevent any flare-up, officials said today.

A portion of the house at Mendipathar was damagedbefore the security personnel and villagers trooped in andchased away the miscreants last evening.

East Garo Hills deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi saidmischief mongers wanted to disturb the peace but their attemptwas foiled.

A heavy deployment of security forces led by a companyof CRPF personnel took control of the area immediately afterthe incident.

Representatives of the Rabha National Council in Assamvisited Mendipathar today to look into the aspects leading tothe flare-up and the steps being taken for reconciliation bythe two communities.

BSF, deployed in the ethnic riot-hit areas, organiseda friendly cricket match between teams from Bajengdoba andMendipather-Resubelpara comprising both Garos and Rabhas.

The intention of the BSF and district officials is toallow both communities to reach out to one another and try toheal the trauma of fear and hatred by both sides, the DC said.

The Rabha delegation is also expected to motivate thedisplaced people to return to their homes in time for thestart of the final stage of the Census operation beginningFebruary 8.

The BSF is also offering trauma and psychologicalcounselling to the riot hit.

Twelve people were killed and around 50,000 displacedin the ethnic riot between January 1-10 in Meghalaya''s EastGaro Hills and neighbouring Assam''s Goalpara districts.

The recovery of three corpses in Goalpara on lastThursday prompted the East Garo Hills administration to sounda high alert to prevent any repercussion.

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