Guwahati: Almost four months after a bloody clash claimed six lives along the Assam-Meghalaya border, the Himanta Biswa Sarma government on Monday stated that the disputed Mukroh village, where the incident had taken place, falls under its jurisdiction.
The government also said that it was yet to officially inform the neighbouring hill state about its position.
In a written reply to a query by BJP MLA Bidya Sing Engleng, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Mukroh village is a part of West Karbi Anglong district.
Six people — a forest guard from Assam and five villagers of Meghalaya — were killed in the violence that broke out at a disputed location along the Assam-Meghalaya border on November 22, after a truck “laden with illegally felled timber” was intercepted by the forest personnel of Assam.
The clash had taken place between a joint team of Assam Police-Forest Protection Force and some villagers from Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district.
The entire conflict area falls in a disputed border location near Kheroni Forest Range, with both the states claiming that the incident occurred in their respective territories.
“As per information by West Karbi Anglong SP (Border), the clash between Assam Police and forest pirates of Meghalaya was not related to border issues between the two states,” clarified Sarma, who also holds the Home portfolio.
Asked if the Assam government has given any reply to Meghalaya’s claim on Mukroh, the CM said, “The subject was being evaluated at different levels.”
Sarma also tabled a list of seven cases of clashes and disputes between the two neighbouring states in West Karbi Anglong since 2021.
Assam and Meghalaya have a longstanding dispute in 12 areas along the 884.9-km-long interstate border, and the location of the November 22 clash happens to be one among these.
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The two northeastern states had signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2022 in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi for settling the dispute in six areas.
Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972 and had since then challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, which is recognised by Assam as its border.
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