GUWAHATI: Hundreds of people from Assam have got holed up in Meghalaya and are taking refuge in police stations in the wake of the violence between a section of tribals and non-tribals in the hill state.
Some 260 of them were rescued and brought to Guwahati on Thursday morning by Meghalaya and Assam Police. They hail from lower Assam’s Dhubri, Kokrajhar and Goalpara districts and worked in the unorganized sector in Sohra, Ichamati and other areas of Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills that has been hit by the violence.
Some of them said they saved their lives by hiding in the jungles.
“After the violence broke out, some of us fled to a forested area and spent four days there without any food. Later, we took refuge at a police station. It gave us nothing to eat, not even water,” one of them told journalists on reaching Jorabat on Assam-Meghalaya border.
Assam’s Inspector General Police Deepak Kedia said he was constantly in touch with Meghalaya Police to bring back the stranded people.
“Those who have come said several others are stuck up there. I cannot give you the figures. They said the people are in police stations and BSF camps,” Kedia told this newspaper.
BJP’s Bilasipara East MLA in Assam Ashok Kumar Singhi, who took the lead in bringing the people back to the state, said 1,000-1,500 people were stranded in the violence-hit areas.
“I was told a lot of people from Sapatgram and other parts of lower Assam were suffering in the wake of the violence. So, I met Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and he instructed Additional Director General of Police GP Singh to do the needful. Subsequently, with the intervention of IGP Deepak Kedia and his Meghalaya counterpart, we managed to bring 260 people,” the MLA told this newspaper.
He said he had arranged some buses to take the people to different areas of lower Assam. Meanwhile, curfew was relaxed for seven hours in Shillong, except for some areas, on Thursday.