Assam-Meghalaya border killings raise worrisome questions

Tensions are running high at the border of Assam and Meghalaya following a brutal clash between Assam’s forest officials and local villagers from Meghalaya on Tuesday morning. 5 villagers from Mukroh village in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills have reportedly been killed, while an Assam Forest Guard also lost his life due to the violence.

Reports say that the Assam Forest Guard chased and intercepted a vehicle laden with illegal timber that was travelling to Meghalaya from West Karbi Anglong district.

Citing the incident as inhuman, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma bashed the Assamese forest guards and police for entering Meghalaya and firing at the villagers without provocation. On their part, The Assam Police reiterated that they resorted to firing in self-defense after a mob of villagers surrounded them.

However, Assam has transferred the West Karbi Anglong Superintendent of Police, while suspending the Jirikinding police station officer-in-charge and Forest Protection Officer of Kheroni Forest Range. This raises eyebrows.

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