Former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Wednesday hit out at Assam Police, claiming that its personnel had committed genocide by “killing unarmed villagers”. He was referring to the firing incident on Tuesday that left six people, including a forest guard, dead.
Sangma, a Trinamool Congress leader and the Leader of the Opposition in the Meghalaya Assembly, visited Mukroh along the Assam-Meghalaya border where the incident occurred and spoke to the victims’ families. “The incident occurred well within the jurisdiction of the state of Meghalaya. From the inputs I have received from Ground Zero, it is a fit case of genocide. Action must be taken against the culprits,” he said.
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Sangma alleged that those who did this had no regard for the likelihood of injury to people or loss of lives.
Sangma said the governments of Meghalaya and Assam had disconnected themselves from the standard operating procedure (SOP) laid down based on mutually agreed terms to deal with issues along disputed border areas. “The collective efforts put together by the preceding governments in the past have been completely ignored,” Sangma said.
He also met the injured people and their families at the Lalong Civil hospital at Jowai, where he distributed financial assistance. He urged the hospital authorities to arrange for the injured to be taken to a better facility in the capital city of Shillong.
Assam-Meghalaya Border Firing
Six persons, including a forest guard, were killed in violence along the Assam-Meghalaya border in West Karbi Anglong district (West Jaintia Hills) in the early hours of Tuesday after a truck transporting illegal timber was intercepted.
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As the forest team stopped the truck in the Mukru area around 3 am, the driver tried to speed away. At this, the forest guards opened fire and deflated the tire of the truck. The driver and two others were arrested, though some others managed to escape.
Steps Taken By Both Governments
The Assam government ordered a judicial investigation into the incident and referred the case to CBI while Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma ordered a magisterial inquiry. Assam will provide Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.
Mobile internet services were suspended in seven districts for 48 hours after the incident.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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