meghalaya: Situation tense but peaceful along violence-hit Assam-Meghalaya border


The situation along the Assam-Meghalaya border, where six people were killed in a village following violent clashes, remained tense but peaceful and a large number of security personnel have been deployed in the area, a senior official said on Thursday.

Restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC have also been imposed in the clash site and surrounding areas, she said.

“The situation is peaceful and a strong presence of security personnel have been ensured till the atmosphere normalises completely. Our magistrates are visiting the place daily,” the official told PTI.

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government extended suspension of mobile internet services in at least seven Khasi-Jaintia Hills districts in the eastern part of the state till Saturday, officials said.
“To prevent misuse of social media to disturb peace and tranquillity, and to maintain law and order, mobile internet and data services stand withdrawn for a period of 48 hours,” Home Department Secretary CVD Diengdoh told PTI.

Mobile internet services were suspended in the seven districts on Tuesday, hours after the violence erupted.

Six people, including a forest guard, were killed in violence at a disputed location in West Karbi Anglong district along the Assam-Meghalaya border in the early hours of Tuesday, after a truck allegedly laden with illegally felled timber was intercepted by forest personnel of Assam.

Assam has restricted entry of vehicles from the state to Meghalaya, following a series of attacks on passenger cars there in the aftermath of the incident.

At various entry points to Meghalaya from Assam, police personnel put up barricades and asked people not to visit the hill state in vehicles bearing number plates of Assam.

“We are requesting people not to travel to Meghalaya in Assam-registered cars. If there is any urgency, they should hire a Meghalaya taxi from the border points,” Deputy Commissioner (East) of Guwahati Police Sudhakar Singh told PTI.

He, however, said there is no such restriction on commercial vehicles like trucks and tankers.

Asked how long the curbs will continue, Singh said: “I cannot say that immediately, it all depends on the situation.”

The Assam government earlier in the day handed over the body of the forest guard to his family members after post-mortem, the officials said.

The body of the Forest Protection Force personnel, identified as Bidyasing Lekhte, was handed over to Assam officials on Wednesday night by Meghalaya authorities in West Karbi Anglong district.

In Meghalaya, at least five social organisations on Thursday announced a two-day peaceful agitation, demanding stern action against those responsible for the incident at Mukroh village.

Assam and Meghalaya have a long-standing dispute in 12 areas along the 884.9-km-long inter-state border, and the location where the violence took place is one of those.

The two states had signed a memorandum of understanding in March this year towards ending the dispute in six of the areas.

Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972 and had since then challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, which demarcated the border between the two states.


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