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Amit Shah and Conrad Sangma meet to discuss the Assam-Meghalaya border firing deaths

On Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that the CBI would investigate the skirmish between Assam and Meghalaya on Tuesday, which resulted in six people’s deaths. Deputy Chief Minister Conrad Sangma led a delegation to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and demand an investigation by a central agency.

Amit Shah, Union Home & Co-operation Minister, met with Meghalaya Chief Minister @SangmaConrad today and requested that the CBI inquire into the unfortunate incident that occurred on the Assam-Meghalaya border today. The Government of Assam has also asked to have the CBI investigate the matter. The MHA tweeted that HM @AmitShah had assured the GOI that a CBI investigation would be conducted.

An official photo of Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma with New Delhi Chief Minister Amit Shah. (ANI)

As a result of the unfortunate incident which occurred in Mukhro village, we briefed Amit Shah Ji…We explained and provided details regarding the different circumstances that led to the incident…Sangma stated after meeting Shah that statements made by the Honorable Chief Minister of Assam indicate that the shooting and the incident were unprovoked, and the police used excessive force.

Among Tloda Sumer’s three daughters and two sons are all farmers who live on other people’s land, while her husband Sik Talang, 53, was killed in the Mukroh firing. (Deccan Photo)

Keeping this in mind, we have requested that the Government of India establish a central agency inquiry, such as the CBI or the NIA, to uncover the truth. In addition, those responsible for this inhuman act are brought to justice. The honourable Minister of Home has assured us that an inquiry will be conducted under a central agency,” he said.

A mob of alleged timber smugglers in Meghalaya clashed with Assam Police early Tuesday over an alleged timber-smuggling attempt, and several people were killed, including an Assam Forest Guard. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, gunfire broke out near the border between the West Karbi Anglong district of Assam and Mukroh village in the West Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya.

As part of the meeting, Sangma also discussed the current border dispute between the two states and said that the incident had hampered discussions between the two states.

We discussed with the Home Minister the long-pending border issue between the two states as the root cause of tension in this area and others. Several incidents have contributed to the pressure in the situation, ultimately leading to the unfortunate incident. He stressed the importance of resolving the border dispute through all efforts. As a result of this incident, the talks that were on track encountered a hurdle. There are several areas in which trust must be restored. Therefore, the Government of India will be required to intervene.”

Assam-Meghalaya border violence led to the death of four people, including a forest guard, after the police intercepted a truck transporting illegal timber on Tuesday morning. (PTI Photo)

In March, the Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya signed a pact in Shah’s presence to resolve a part of their five-decade-old boundary dispute. There were six out of 12 disputed areas identified for resolution in the first phase by both state governments: three are contested between West Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya and Kamrup in Assam; two are contested between RiBhoi and Kamrup-Metro, and one is contested between East Jaintia Hills and Cachar in Assam.

The 884-kilometre border between these two states has experienced frequent flare-ups.

The pact was considered a significant achievement, as Assam’s border disputes with other states in the North East have remained unresolved for a long, and multiple talks have failed to bring about the desired outcome.

As part of our discussion, we also addressed the security and safety issue in the border area, particularly in the sensitive and disputed zones. In our request, we urged the Government of India to initiate a process to ensure that both state governments cooperate so that incidents like these do not occur again,” Sangma stated.

On Wednesday, security personnel were seen guarding a vandalised forest office in West Karbi Anglong district, one day after the killings near the border between Assam and Meghalaya. PTI

Sangma also addressed the issue of Meghalaya’s access to essential commodities.

Additionally, we have raised the issue of the state’s difficulties in supplying essential commodities. Both the Center and the states have been asked for their support in this regard. The Garo and Khasi languages have also been requested to be included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution. As a result of a resolution passed in the Assembly, Meghalaya will implement Inner Line Permits. The home minister has been informed of our request. According to Sangma, we have also requested the home minister to expedite the approval of the MRSS law, which has been passed by the Assembly but is stuck in the hands of the governor.

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