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Student set ablaze in Karbi clash

Shillong/Nagaon, Nov. 17: A Karbi youth studying theology in Shillong suffered 70 per cent burns and head injuries in a brutal attack that is believed to be linked to the ethnic feud in neighbouring Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

Assailants dragged out 22-year-old Eldrin Tisso, a student at Sacred Heart Theological College, from his hostel room and set him ablaze near Sanker Rehabilitation Centre in the Mawlai-Mawroh locality. Three more Karbi students were abducted from a hostel in Lawmawri-Laitumkhrah area and taken to Upper Shillong, where they were beaten.

The incidents coincided with Karbi Anglong MP Jayanta Rongpi’s appeal to Meghalaya chief minister D.D. Lapang to protect Karbi residents from the Khasi Students Union (KSU), which has asked all members of the community to leave the state.

Rongpi said hundreds of Karbi students had left Shillong despite their annual examinations being round the corner. He blamed the KSU, saying its members were doing the rounds of hostels and private messes to warn Karbi students of dire consequences if they did not leave Meghalaya.

Lapang, who is in Calcutta, today called up his Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi. They decided to send a delegation to the troubled areas and condemned the perpetrators of violence. The origin of the conflict lies in Block I of Karbi Anglong, where Karbi militants are targeting Khasi and Pnar (Jaintia) people. Over 1,600 Khasi-Pnar villagers fled their homes after a Karbi militant group, killed three Pnars.

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