Make findings of Assam-Meghalaya border violence public: NE body

The North East Indigenous People’s Forum (NEIPF) on Wednesday urged the Assam government to make public the findings of the judicial inquiry into the November 22 inter-state border violence and shooting that killed six people, including 5 villagers of Meghalaya.

The NEIPF in a letter to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma requested to make public both the findings of the judicial inquiry and the central probe agency into the November 22 firing by the Assam Police and Assam Forest Guards at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills District along Assam-Meghalaya inter-state border.

The NEIPF letter while welcoming the immediate steps taken by the Assam government, said that the fact remains that “manslaughter by the armed personnel of the Assam government against innocent villagers is a recurring act, which needs to be condemned and stern action needs to be taken so that innocent people do not become victims of border issues among the two neighbouring states”.

The Assam government immediately after the November 22 incident constituted an inquiry commission, headed by Justice (retired) Rumi Kumari Phukan, to probe the circumstances leading to firing at the border village in which five civilians of Meghalaya and an Assam forest guard were killed.

Both the Assam and Meghalaya governments have also urged the central government for a CBI inquiry into the incident.

Meanwhile, after Assam Chief Minister, the state’s Special Director General of Police (law and order), G.P. Singh claimed that the incident was not linked with the inter-state border dispute.

He said that the incident purely related to timber smuggling case

“The forest department and the police would conduct a proper investigation into the incidents of smuggling of forest resources in the bordering area,” Singh said.

The Special DGP said that action would be taken according to law against those found to be involved in smuggling of forest resources.”The Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal have laid elaborate guidelines on forest resource related matters and their any kind of illegal activities,” the senior police officer said.

Disapproving the firing by the Assam Police, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that there would be no impact on the talks between the two states over the inter-state border disputes as the incident was not related to border disputes.

“Negotiations are on between the two neighbouring states and any boundary adjustment would happen through the Committee formed for the purpose by the two states,” he told the media in Silchar on Tuesday.

The National Human Rights Commission has taken cognizance of the November 22 firing incident and asked the Union Home Secretary and the Assam Chief Secretary to suggest measures in two weeks to prevent such incidents in areas of disputes between two states.




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