Guwahati: Assam government said that the firing incident at Mukhrow village in which at least six people died following a clash between a sleuth of forest officials and locals happened within the territory of Assam.
Earlier, following the incident, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said that a team of Assam police and forest officials entered Meghalaya and resorted to firing. The area where the incident happened was along the borders of Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills and Assam’s Karbi Anglong districts.
Assam government while setting up a one-man inquiry to dig out the truth behind the incident, in an official statement said, “In view of the firing incident at Mukhrow under Jirikindging Police Station of West Karbi Anglong district on Tuesday, the state government set up a one-man inquiry commission headed by a retired Judge of Gauhati high court.”
The inquiry commission has been mandated to inquire into the circumstances leading to the firing incident.
The inquiry commission will submit its report within three months, added the official statement from the state government.
It may be noted that in the morning of November 22, an incident of firing took place between Assam forest officials and unknown miscreants at Mukhrow under Jirikinding PS under West Karbi Anglong district, it added further.
The incident reportedly took place when the forest party attempted to stop a truck smuggling out illegal timber.
When the truck was stopped by the forest party personnel, they were gheraoed by unknown miscreants who resorted to violence.
“In order to save their lives, the forest party resorted to firing. In the incident, three civilians and one forest guard died,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government has suspended mobile internet services for the next 48 hours from 10-30 AM on Tuesday in seven districts of West Jaintia Hills, East Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi, Eastern West Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma has held the Assam security team responsible for the incident. He said, “It’s an inhuman act by the Assam police and forest guards who entered Meghalaya territory and resorted to firing upon villagers ‘unprovoked’. We condemn the act and will work for giving justice to the deceased.”
Sangma informed that already Meghalaya police have lodged an FIR against Assam police and forest guards. He said that the state cabinet would sit in the evening to take forward the matter. “I also appeal to our citizens to maintain peace and harmony in the state. The state government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that law and order is maintained,” he added.
Meghalaya government has also canceled the iconic ‘cherry blossom’ festival in the state as a mark of respect to the deceased. The fest attracts thousands of people from all corners of the world to enjoy the spectacle of cherry blossom season.
The Meghalaya government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the five Meghalaya deceased persons’ families.
Meanwhile, Assam police have urged people from the state not to visit Meghalaya temporarily. Already, many vehicles were stopped at a Jorabat check gate at the Assam-Meghalaya border near the capital city from entering the neigbouring state.