In his first reaction to the Assam-Meghalaya border firing incident in which six people including a forest guard from Assam died, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Assam Police could have exercised restraint in the heat of the incident on November 22.
“Assam-Meghalaya incident is not a border issue. Few people in the forest area had gone there to cut timber and load them onto a truck. Upon reaching the spot, Assam’s Forest Protection Force tried to intercept the truck which allegedly fled from the scene and the protection force had to fire at the truck. After a hot chase, three persons were arrested after the truck was stopped at Mukroh village. The villagers after hearing the commotion came out in anger. When a police team from Assam reached the village to bring the truck, a clash ensued between the two parties. After observation, I believe police could have exercised restraint. It seems it was an unprovoked firing. Police could have exercised restraint because the loss of lives of five persons is painful,” said Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while speaking to the media on November 23.
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma further added that the cabinet has ordered a judicial enquiry as well as requested central agency CBI or NIA’s investigation into the Assam-Meghalaya border firing incident.
“Few police officials have been suspended while the SP has been transferred. Our government is initiating all possible action to expedite the matter at the earliest,” added CM Sarma.
It needs mention here the Assam government has decided to hand over the case to the central agency.
Earlier in the day on November 22, the Assam government had ordered a judicial probe into the incident wherein a retired judge of Gauhati High Court is supposed to investigate the matter.
Tension flared up on November 22, in West Karbi Anglong when Assam police and a team of forest officials gave a hot chase to a smuggled timber-laden truck after being intercepted by the forest guards.
Following the chase, the team entered Mukroh village, West Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, bordering Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
As per sources, a huge crowd allegedly gheraoed the police team holding sharp weapons in their hands. The police team then allegedly opened fire in self-defence in which 6 people have been reported dead including one Assam forest guard.
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