meghalaya: 6 killed in firing on ‘Disputed border’ of Assam, Meghalaya


Meghalaya has suspended mobile internet services in seven districts of the state for 48 hours after six persons, including an Assam forest department official, were killed in police firing in Mukroh of West Jaintia Hills — an area which both Assam and Meghalaya claims to be their own. Both the state governments have initiated action with Assam ordering a one-man inquiry and announced a separate ex-payment gratia of ₹5 lakh each for the next kin of the deceased.

Mobile internet/data services were suspended from 10:30 am on Tuesday, following a notification by the Meghalaya Home (Police) Department. Vehicles from Assam were not allowed to enter Meghalaya and tourists have been stranded.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said: “As per reports, a truck carrying timber was pursued and detained by the Assam police in Mukroh village. On hearing this, people from the village gathered in large numbers and surrounded the police and forest guards. Assam police had to open fire in which five people from Meghalaya and a forest guard from Assam died. The injured were shifted to hospitals.”

He said: “A Cabinet delegation will meet Union home minister Amit Shah on November 24. We will approach the National Human Rights Commission. We will seek a probe by NIA or CBI. The state government will constitute an SIT to probe the incident.”
While Meghalaya claimed that the firing took place inside its territory, Assam countered by stating that the incident took place within Assam, which has decided to hand the over to a central agency

According to Assam’s West Karbi Anglong’s Superintendent of Police Imdad Ali, the Assam Forest Department team intercepted the truck on Tuesday morning. The truck tried to flee but the forest guards fired at it and punctured the tyre. The driver, his assistant and another person were apprehended while the others escaped. The forest guards informed the Zirikending police station of the incident and asked for reinforcements”. He said when the police reached the spot, a number of people from Meghalaya gathered there with weapons, including daggers. The mob gheraoed the forest guards and the police demanding the immediate release of those arrested. The officers fired at them to bring the situation under control. Ali has been suspended and some of the police officers of West Karbi police station have been transferred, people in the know said.

The Assam government said: “In view of the firing incident at Mukroh…the government of Assam has instituted a one-man inquiry commission headed by a retired judge of the high court.” The Meghalaya government has decided to cancel all official festivals, including the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival.


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