Shillong: While Assam and the Meghalaya governments are engaged in talks to resolve the five-decade old boundary dispute, six people were killed in police firing on Tuesday at Mukroh village in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district.
Sources said a truck was intercepted on the Meghalaya border by an Assam Forest Department team at around 3am. The team of Assam forest guards opened fire as the truck tried to flee.
Firing by the Assam Forest guards reportedly punctured a tyre of the truck. The driver, a handyman and another person were apprehended, while others managed to escape.
The forest guards reportedly informed the Zirikending police station (in West Karbi Anglong district of Assam) and requested for reinforcements.
Imdad Ali, superintendent of West Karbi Anglong said as the police team reached the spot around 5 am, a large number of people from Meghalaya armed with sharp weapons had gathered.
The mob gheraoed the forest guards and the police, and demanded immediate release of the three arrested persons. Police had to open fire at the mob to bring the situation under control, Ali said.
A forest home guard and five tribal Khasi people were killed, the superintendent of police said, adding that situation is under control in the area.
However, it could not be ascertained as to how the forest guard, identified as Bidyasing Lekhte, was killed in the shootout.
Nujorki Sungoh, the MLA from Mowkaiaw said in addition to the four people killed, several other tribal Khasi people have sustained multiple bullet injuries in the the incident.
Sungoh, along with Meghalaya government officials, have rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, a video of the firing incident has also gone viral on the social media. Police forces along the inter-state boundary have put on high alert to prevent any untoward incident.