Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma will lead a delegation of cabinet ministers of his state to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital on Thursday to apprise him about the recent firing incident along the border with Assam which left six people dead. The delegation will demand for an investigation led by either the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
On Tuesday, six people were killed and several others injured during an alleged clash between villagers and a contingent comprising Police and forest guards from Assam on Tuesday afternoon. The alleged clash took place in the area bordering the West Karbi Anglong district of Assam and Mukroh village in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills. Among those killed was a forest guard from Assam. “Just to clarify that incident has nothing to do with the border, the way it is reported in national media. It was basically a clash between villagers and police regarding certain forest timber,” Assam CM told reporters yesterday.
Soon after the incident, Meghalaya suspended mobile internet services in seven districts of the state for 48 hours. The telecom and social media services were shut across districts of Meghalaya namely West Jaintia Hills, East Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi, Eastern West Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills districts. On Wednesday, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the probe into the firing incident should be carried out by a central agency.
“I have also discussed with the Assam Chief Minister about the incident. We demand that a central agency should investigate. The NIA or CBI should inquire into and investigate the incident. The Assam government has also agreed and they will cooperate and they will also ask the Government of India for the same,” Sangma said. Sangma also visited Mukroh village and met the family members of the victims of the firing that took place along the Assam-Meghalaya border.
“I have come here to ensure proper action will be taken. In future, such oppression won’t happen. The border issue is our priority. I have discussed it with Assam CM. We’ll see central agencies probe the incident, Assam governmentt has also agreed to it,” he said. The Chief Minister also provided ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin. “We are here to ensure that the action is taken, all steps are required to ensure that in future this kind of thing and the difficulties you are facing should not be there. The border issue is our top priority and we will do everything in our capacity and we are able to resolve the border issue at the earliest,” he added.
Both the states announced 5 lakh as compensation each for the next of kin of the deceased. “The matter was related to some clash regarding timber and we have ordered a judicial inquiry and also referred the matter to the investigation by CBI or NIA. Compensation has been announced and the person responsible is put under suspension,” Assam Chief Minister told reporters on Wednesday.
Further, on being asked whether this incident will derail the ongoing talks regarding the pending inter-state border dispute resolution, Sarma reiterated that it has nothing to do with border issue.