There have been allegation that Garo and Rabha people from Meghalaya hills bordering Rabha dominated Goalpara district in Assam were under tension for long time now! This ethnic turmoil were started on small incidents of fight among small groups of people over the time, but now it has taken an ugly turn which resulted in death of 4 people, burning down of few villages.
While it is reported that, few Rabha villages have been burnt down, Assam Rabha Students Union (ARSU) had called for 500 hours economic blockade against Meghalaya.
A mob attacked a vehicle carrying 12 Rabha coal labourers at Gokulgre village, 13 km from Bajengdoba, and bludgeoned to death three of them while the others sustained grievous injuries. The labourers were heading towards Assam from the Tura route but had to turn back at Bajengdoba due to the escalating violence during the day.
On their return, they were stopped by an irate mob, dragged out of the vehicle and assaulted with rods, sticks, daggers and axes. They made a desperate attempt to flee across the nearby Didram river but the pursuing mob cut them down mercilessly.
When police arrived on the scene they found two bodies on the banks of the river while the rest were located from below a culvert and nearby shrubs and bushes. As the grievously injured were being taken to the primary health centre at Gokulgre village, one of the labourers died, pushing the casualty to three.
The other nine labourers are in crucial condition and have been immediately taken to Gauhati Medical College Hospital for treatment. The labourers had been working in the coal mines of Chokpot, South Garo Hills, and hail from Mendipathar, Manikganj and Assam.
On the same evening, one Garo youth was shot dead and two others sustained serious bullet injuries after Assam Police opened fire on a mob of several hundred Garo men who were reportedly trying to set ablaze houses belonging to the Rabha community at Daranggre, under Rongjuli police outpost.
Goalpara district superintendent of police, Luis Aind, informed that police had to resort to opening fire after the mob went on a rampage setting houses on fire in Rongjuli area.
The irate mob attacked the Rabha village after two Garo youths were grievously attacked at Daranggre market during the day time.
Meanwhile, in Bajengdoba, several hundred villagers from the Rabha community fled to the nearby Kukurkata police outpost and army camp after mobs went on the rampage setting their homes ablaze. The hamlets of Torika, Berubari, Darakona, Nebari and Rongketchi were completely razed to the ground by the arsonists.
News : Assam Tribune
Community leaders from the both communities should come forward and solve the grievances against each other. These two communities have lived side by side together for centuries. So, all steps should be taken to maintain cordial relation between Garo and Rabha.
It is reported that Garo Students Union (GSU) and the Assam Rabha Students Union (ARSU) had a successful discussion on Wednesday which should restore peace between the two groups.