Guwahati: Five people were killed in the firing in Mukro on the Assam-Meghalaya border. It is reported that there was a clash and firing in the area when the illegal smuggling of timber was stopped. Local residents alleged that Assam Forest Department officials fired the shots.
The incident happened around 4 am today. Four natives of Meghalaya and a forest department official from Assam were killed. Local residents say that the forest department officials first fired at the lorry that was transporting timber. The people in the lorry were taken into custody. Then many people gathered in front of the police station demanding the release of the vehicle and the release of those who were taken into custody. The initial report said that the police opened fire to disperse the crowd.
Deputy Inspector General Davis NR Marak, in-charge of the eastern range of Meghalaya, confirmed the incident. He said he was on his way to the scene. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma called a high-level meeting to assess the situation. An ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each has been announced for the families of the victims. Meghalaya Police registered a case in the incident. Internet services in seven districts have been suspended for 48 hours in view of the possibility of conflict. Meanwhile, Assam Police has not yet responded about the incident.
The Assam-Meghalaya border dispute has been going on since 1972. Both the states had constituted three panels each in August 2021 to resolve the border dispute. After two rounds of discussions between the states, the Chief Ministers of both the states submitted the draft resolution for the Union Home Ministry’s consideration. Assam agreed to give 18.28 sq km to Meghalaya. An agreement was reached in the first phase of settlement in respect of 36 villages.