Following the sensational firing incident that led to a volatile situation along the Assam-Meghalaya border on November 22, the forest guard who was injured during the skirmish has narrated the entire incident that unfolded on the unfortunate day.
Abhimanyu Das, the forest guard, who was allegedly attacked with a sharp weapon, by the enraged mob in Mukroh village, in West Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya has claimed that the area is notorious for timber smuggling.
“Illegal timber was being smuggled on the Assam-Meghalaya border on Tuesday, November 23 morning. At the same time, on being signalled by on-duty forest guard to stop the vehicle, the truck fled from the spot. After this, a joint team of police and the forest department fired bullets and punctured the tyres of the vehicle, after which the police arrested the driver, the handyman, and one other person, while few others managed to escape from there. After this, these three accused were handed over to the Jirikinding police of West Karbi Anglong,'' Das said.
“While demanding the release of the arrested, a crowd of nearly hundreds armed with sharp weapons attacked the forest personnel and the police towards Meghalaya. In retaliatory action, the police started firing, after which six people, including a forest worker, lost their lives in this incident, and many were seriously injured, who have been treated in Hojai's hospital,” Das added.
On the other hand, Abhimanyu Das, who was injured in the skirmish, told the media, “Like everyday, on Tuesday morning, the police and forest department team were inspecting in the border area. Right at the said Assam-Meghalaya border, the team spotted a truck full of huge wooden logs and intercepted it. During this, the team seized the said truck detaining three people. Meanwhile, sensing their intentions, the team punctured the tyres of the truck. On the other hand, on getting the news of the Meghalaya truck being caught by the Assam police, two hundred to two hundred and fifty people carrying sharp weapons came out and gheraoed the police team.”
“Meanwhile, someone attacked me on the head with a weapon from behind. After that, I started feeling dizzy and firing also started. After this, my colleague somehow took me out of the car and brought me for medical treatment,” added Das.
“Someone hit my head with a sharp weapon, due to which my head burst and blood started flowing profusely and I fell down. Just then I heard the sound of firing. But I could not find out whether the firing started from any side. There were two hundred to two hundred and fifty people, that too with sticks, knives, swords, and other weapons,” said Das while further adding, “By destroying the forests of Assam, the people of Meghalaya are continuously smuggling wood, many small and big incidents used to happen earlier also to obstruct this work. In this way, on Tuesday morning, while illegally smuggling wood from Assam, the team who was standing their, seized the vehicle carrying the smuggled wood, which was forcibly seized by a crowd of miscreants who attacked the police team. As a result of which this incident happened”.
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