JORABAT, March 5 – Following clashes between Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) members and non-tribals, a large number of working class people from Assam, hiding at various places in Meghalaya fearing arson, reached Assam this afternoon.
On February 28, soon after a KSU meeting at Ichamati near Sohra clashes broke out between student activists and local non-tribals of the area. As a result, thousands of non-tribals, including people from other states working in Meghalaya, have been forced to leave Meghalaya, especially its capital Shillong.
After receiving information, the Assam government got in touch with its Meghalaya counterpart and conducted a rescue operation with the help of the Border Security Force and the Meghalaya Police to safely bring the affected people to Assam.
A total of 279 people from Assam, mostly hailing from Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Baksa districts, were brought back to Assam in five trucks, covered with tarpaulins as to ensure their safety from the rioters.
The Meghalaya Police escorted the trucks to Jorabat in Assam and handed over the custody of the 279 people to the Assam Police.
Saibar Ali of Kokrajhar, who reached Jorabat in a truck, said “We were hiding for three-four days in jungles, after which the border forces came to our rescue. …it was really a painful situation for all of us.”
Bilasipara-East MLA Ashok Kumar Singhi, who was seen actively monitoring the operation to send the people back to their homes, said the operation was successful only after swift action of Assam Chief Minister and help from the border forces and the Meghalaya Police.
Assam IGP Deepak Kumar Kedia, who was also present in Jorabat, thanked Meghalaya Police for their cooperation and said there are chances of more people being brought back to Assam similarly.
The Assam Police is maintaining a record of such rescued people who were sent back to their homes in buses.
WITH INPUTS FROM ASSAM TRIBUNE