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12 Students Slain in India Protests

Police in the northeast opened fire after the marchers threw stones, home minister says.

October 01, 2005|From Associated Press

GUWAHATI, India — Police opened fire on stone-throwing students in two towns Friday in northeastern India's Meghalaya state, killing 12 of them, authorities said.

More than 100 people, including 54 police officers, were injured in the two protests.

"Hundreds of students marching in two district towns in protest against a government decision turned violent and attacked policemen and magistrates on duty with stones and other missiles, forcing the police to open fire," said the state home minister, Mukul Sangma.

In the wake of the protests in Tura and William Nagar, authorities imposed curfews in the towns, both of which are dominated by people from the Garo tribe, Sangma said.

The students were protesting a government decision to move the Meghalaya State Education Board from Tura to Shillong, the state capital, which is dominated by the Khasi tribe, he said.

The Education Board oversees the school syllabus and conducts the examinations in Meghalaya, a remote state of fewer than 2 million people.

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