New Delhi, India (CNN) -- Thousands of tribespeople have fled ethnic unrest in India's remote northeastern states of Meghalaya and Assam since the New Year, officials said Friday.
At least eight tribespeople have been killed in the violence so far, said Meghalaya's deputy chief minister B.M. Lanong.
A curfew has been ordered along the tense borders of the two states after clashes between Garo and Rabha tribes uprooted up to 3,000 people, he said.
Army and paramilitary forces are on standby.
India's far-off northeast has for decades been hit by insurgencies and tribal conflicts.
Last year, a road blockade by ethnic communities crippled Manipur, another state in the region, for months. The crisis badly hit supplies of food, fuel and life-saving drugs to the state.
The latest round of trouble in Meghalaya and Assam erupted in what Lanong explained was retaliation to a longstanding demand n for an autonomous council by one of the groups.
He said rumors also escalated tensions.
"The situation is fast improving now. We are also in touch with the government of Assam and are sending in relief materials and blankets (to the restive areas)," Lanong insisted.