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Nagaland orders safety steps

Inmates at a relief camp at Silonijan in Karbi Anglong district. Telegraph picture

Kohima, Jan. 10: The Nagaland government has directed the deputy commissioners of all the 11 districts to take necessary action to ensure the security of persons belonging to the Karbi community.

Nagaland commissioner Banuo Z. Jamir said the law and order situation in Karbi Anglong district of Assam and the recovery of nine bodies of members of the Karbi community from Assam in Dimapur district had triggered tension and apprehension.

She said it was necessary to create an environment of security and diffuse the tension, especially among the Karbis residing in Nagaland.

She directed all the deputy commissioners to take immediate steps to ensure security for Karbis, a large number of whom work as daily wage labourers in the state, in co-ordination with the police and the public, and identify their employers and sensitise them to the need to provide security to their employees. She also asked them to involve tribal hohos, civil society and NGOs to create an environment of normalcy and security.

The order comes when the situation is already limping back to normalcy with the initiatives of NGOs of both communities. The state government has been under fire for acting late despite the situation being grave in Karbi Anglong and having the potential to spill over to Nagaland.

The Congress said had the government acted fast, nine innocent persons could have been saved.

Despite assurances from the state government and Naga organisations, many Karbis have left the state, escorted by Naga organisations and the police.

Naga organisations, led by the Naga Hoho, and Karbi organisations have been constantly in touch for taking confidence-building measures.

Both Naga and Karbi organisations have blamed a “third force” of trying to create a rift between the two communities who have been living cohesively for years. They have urged the Assam government to pay adequate compensation to those affected by the attacks in Karbi Anglong and bring to book those who were trying to create problems.

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio and home minister G. Kaito Aye called on Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in New Delhi yesterday and sought the Centre’s intervention to prevent escalation of violence in Karbi Anglong.