Guwahati: At least seven police outposts would be set up along the Assam-Meghalaya borders. The decision was taken by the Meghalaya government on Tuesday in a cabinet meeting.
The cabinet has approved a proposal to set up police outposts at seven locations, including the violence-hit Mukroh village where violence erupted on November 22 claiming six lives.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma said, “The Cabinet approved the proposal for setting up seven BoPs across the Khasi Jaintia Hills region. Of these outposts, two will be erected at Mukroh and Tihwieh villages along the interstate border in West Jaintia Hills district.”
He added that other BoPs (border outposts) would be set up in Langpih, Lejadubi, Umwali, Muriap and Rani along the Assam-Meghalaya border.
Besides, the existing BoPs in Patharkhmah and Kyrshai would also be upgraded to police stations, the Meghalaya chief minister said. The expenses for operating each of the BoPs will be around Rs 2 crore annually.
Sangma also directed the state’s director general of police to pay a visit to certain villages in the disputed border areas and submit a report shortly.
Meanwhile, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that since the border dispute between the two states was yet to resolve in six disputed areas including the area where Mukroh village was located, the Meghalaya government would not take any ‘unconstitutional’ move.
Sarma said, “Since we are still obeying the constitutional boundary and the disputes are yet to be resolved, I am sure the Meghalaya government would not set up any outpost in such disputed land. Because cases registered in ‘questionable’ police stations would not stand before the court once challenged. We are maintaining a status quo till the matter is resolved. Assam government will also not do anything inside Meghalaya territory.”
Assam government has already directed the state’s police and forest departments to prepare a fresh standard operating procedure (SOP) for using lethal weapons by the security forces deployed in disputed areas.
“Under any circumstances, police should not open fire on civilians. It’s unacceptable,” Sarma added.
Already, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has ordered both the Centre and Assam government to file their replies to a complaint filed by the Meghalaya government alleging human rights violations by security forces from Assam.
On the other hand, Sangma said that with the current situation being tense, the border talks between the two states suffered a jolt.
“At this moment, it’s slightly complicated to say when the second rounds of border talks will take place,” said the Meghalaya CM.