Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said the clash at Mukroh village near the Assam border, which left six people dead, could have been averted had all agencies of the two state governments kept “proper coordination and communication”.
The CM said that he and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma were in touch with each other to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
Violence had broken out at the Assam-Meghalaya border in the early hours of November 22 after a truck allegedly laden with illegally felled timber was intercepted by forest guards from Assam.
Six people, including a forest guard, were gunned down amid the clashes.
“Whatever factors and situations that led to this (Mukroh) violence, if proper coordination and communication was maintained by all agencies of both the governments, I am sure it (border violence) could have been averted,” Sangma said.
“Henceforth, proper coordination and communications should be maintained at all levels to prevent such incidents from taking place,” he said.
Mukroh village is located in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills bordering the Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
“I am keeping in constant touch with the Assam chief minister. We have spoken to each other and we will continue to do so in the following weeks to ensure that coordination is maintained at all levels,” Sangma said.
On the allegation that the Assam Forest department has resumed repairing the beat office, the chief minister said he will seek a report on this.
A mob destroyed a beat office of the Assam Forest Department on November 22 following the death of six people.
The chief minister also said that at least 30 personnel of the Meghalaya Police have been posted at the border outpost at Mukroh.
The Meghalaya government has formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the Mukroh incident.
At least two major incidents of violence were reported along the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border in the last 12 years.
The first one was at Langpih in West Khasi Hills district where four civilians were shot dead by the Assam Police in 2010.
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Meanwhile, the two states have also initiated the second phase of border talks for resolving the remaining six areas of difference which include – Langpih in West Khasi Hills District, Borduar, Nongwah-Mawtamur, Deshdoomreah, Block-II in Ri Bhoi district and Block-I, Psiar-Khanduli in West Jaintia Hills district.
On March 29, the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Assam signed an MoU in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to resolve six differences.
The areas of difference which were resolved after the MoU was inked include Tarabari (4.69 sq km), Gizang (13.53 sq km), Hahim (3.51 sq km), Boklapara (1.57 sq kms), Khanapara-Pilangkata (2.29 sq km) and Ratacherra (11.20 sq km).
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