Assam-Meghalaya border firing: Meghalaya to demand NIA or CBI probe

A Meghalaya cabinet delegation would soon meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and demand a through probe by the central agencies – the NIA or the CBI – into Tuesday’s firing by the Assam Police, that left five civilians of Meghalaya and an Assam forest guard dead in West Jaintia Hills district, an official said.

The Meghalaya government would also constitute a judicial commission under the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1952 to look into all the aspects of the firing incident, an official spokesman said.

He said that the Meghalaya cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, met on Tuesday night and discussed in detail the incident that happened at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills.

Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui, who visited the incident spot immediately after the incident, shared his report from ground zero.

The spokesman said that the cabinet decided that as a sign of respect to those who lost their lives in the incident, all government programmes would be suspended till November 30 and all festivals in any part of Meghalaya would be cancelled.

The Meghalaya cabinet delegation during its Delhi visit to meet the Union Home Minister would also meet the National Human Rights Commission and a detailed report would be submitted to it.

The spokesman said that the Meghalaya government would constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Deputy Inspector General, Eastern Range, to probe Tuesday’s firing incident.

“While we appeal to the Government of India for a central agency to take over the investigation, the SIT will start conducting the investigation. When the appeal is approved by the Government of India, the investigation will be handed to them,” an official statement said.

The Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and a few Cabinet Ministers would visit Mukroh village on Wednesday to meet the bereaved families and hand over the ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the families.

Talking to media, Sangma said that his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma had told him, in their telephonic conversation, that the officer-in-charge of Zirikinding Police Station (in Assam) and the Forest Range Protection Officer in charge of the area, who were part of the incident, have been suspended and the Superintendent of Police of West Karbi Anglong has been transferred.

“The Assam government would be taking necessary steps to investigate into the matter in consultation with the Meghalaya government,” Sangma quoted Sarma as saying.

The Meghalaya Chief Minister also said that the Assam government has also assured that whatever demands Meghalaya puts forward to the Centre, it would cooperate to ensure justice is served and those who are guilty are punished

Earlier on Tuesday afternoon said that Assam Police and forest guards entered Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills and resorted to “unprovoked” firing, killing the five civilians of Meghalaya.

An Assam forest guard was also killed in the firing.

The Assam Police and forest guards intercepted a truck carrying timber at Mukroh village and after that, a large number of people from the village reached the spot and surrounded the police and forest guards leading to the firing by the latter.




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