Meghalaya-Assam border dispute: SUV car set on fire after 6 killed in clash, internet service banned

Pankaj Prasad
Meghalaya Assam border dispute
Meghalaya Assam border dispute

The fire was doused by the fire brigade which completely gutted the SUV, but there was no report of any casualty.

Meghalaya-Assam border dispute: Unidentified people set ablaze an SUV with Assam registration number in Meghalaya's capital Shillong on Tuesday night, hours after clashes broke out over the state's border dispute in West Jaintia Hills of Shillong. The fire brigade doused the fire which completely gutted the SUV, but there was no report of any casualty. Police sources said that the incident near Mahavir Park in Jhalupara area took place after the firing incident in Mukroh village of West Jaintia Hills.

One forest guard from Assam and five people from Meghalaya killed in Mukroh village firing

It may be noted that a forest guard from Assam and five people from Meghalaya were killed in a firing incident in Mukroh village in the morning in the border dispute, causing tension in the inter-state border area. Meghalaya suspended mobile internet services in seven districts of the state for 48 hours as the violence that broke out along the border of the two states could escalate to a level not seen long ago.

Attempt to stop truck carrying smuggled wood

The incident took place when a team of the Assam Forest Department tried to stop a truck allegedly carrying smuggled timber at around 7 am. The vehicle sped away. The local villagers saw this as trespassing and surrounded the Assam Police and forest guards. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma reacted immediately. He described the incident as "unfortunate" and said that the Assam Police opened fire first.

mobile internet service suspended for 48 hours

The Meghalaya government has suspended mobile internet/data services in seven districts of Meghalaya from 10:30 am on Tuesday. This step has been taken to prevent the misuse of social media (Whatsapp and social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.) in the state and to prevent attempts to disturb the peace. The Government of Meghalaya also registered an FIR and ordered a judicial inquiry to determine the facts of the incident.

Meghalaya-Assam border dispute is decades old

Let us tell you that the border dispute is decades old. Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972 and challenged the Reorganization Act of 1971, leading to a dispute over 12 regions along a border of 884.9 km. In March this year, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Meghalaya's Conrad Sangma signed a "historic" agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah that was supposed to resolve the dispute over six of the 12 places. Amit Shah had claimed that 70 percent of the border disputes have now been resolved.