No let up in curfew in border areas

Garo Hills situation remains under watch

Economic blockade begins from Monday

TURA: Indefinite curfew remains in place along a five km stretch of the Garo Hills border with neighbouring Assam’s Mankachar region for the third consecutive night since trouble erupted on Saturday afternoon.

While the situation remains tense on the Assam side of the border, in Garo Hills the situation is slowly limping back to normalcy though people living along the border belt are keeping vigilant for possible signs of trouble.

“We have had no trouble since curfew was imposed and movement along the inter-state border was restricted following last week’s tension,” said South West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Ram Singh.

He added that curfew would be relaxed as soon as tension eases.

An additional company of the BSF has been deployed at Ichaguri area to add to the strength of the existing two companies of CRPF deployed for security in the Monabari-Mankachar border belt.

Meanwhile, the economic blockade of Garo Hills called by the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) began on Monday. Protestors belonging to AAMSU reportedly prevented trucks carrying food items from leaving Hat Singimari town of Assam for the Garo Hills border.

Members of the student and labour unions from Hat Singimari blockaded the NEC road at the tri-junction of the two state borders by setting on fire some tyres to stall the movement of vehicles to and from Garo Hills, officials sources informed.

On the Garo Hills side, however, trading was normal at Hallidayganj town, adjacent to Hat Singimari, on Monday.

Despite the economic blockade, there was reportedly no hindrance to the flow of vehicular traffic along the Paikan-Tura National Highway 51 in Goalpara district of Assam on Monday.

FKJGP, KSU condemn blockade call: Meanwhile, the FKJGP Garo Hills Zone and the Khasi Students’ Union have condemned the decision of the All Assam Minority Student’s Union (AAMSU) to organise economic blockade terming the decision as provoking and disrespectful against the peace initiatives taken to ensure normalcy in Garo Hills region.

“The decision of the AAMSU at this critical juncture is really unfortunate. This reflects their disrespect to the peace initiative of the people of Garo Hills,” FKJGP Garo Hills president Pritam R Marak said in a statement on Monday.

Both the FKJGP and the KSU also urged the State Government to immediately implement a fully effective mechanism to check the immigration of unwanted elements in the best interest of the State and the local indigenous inhabitants and not to give in to the whimsical demands of organisations like the AAMSU. The organisations also asked the government to take immediate steps to prevent these organisations from disrupting the state highways which are the lifeline of the citizens.

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