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meghalaya: Sarma, Sangma attempt to douse post-Mukroh fire in Meghalaya

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Following the killing of six people in police firing in a disputed area along the Assam-Meghalaya border, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said a judicial probe would be opened into Tuesday’s clash between Assam Police and civilians.

“We decided to request Justice Smt. Rumi Phukan, retd. judge of Gauhati HC, to conduct a judicial probe into facts & circumstances that led to the incident & conclude the enquiry within 60 days,” Sarma tweeted.

Earlier, Sarma said that police appeared to have dealt with the mob with a heavy hand. “There was too much firing and it appears to me it was unprovoked firing. There must have been some control, as five from Meghalaya were killed, and this is unfortunate…,” Sarma said on Wednesday.

According to a PTI report, there was eerie calm in Mukroh village. Shops remained closed and streets were largely empty. Security personnel stood guard in the village to prevent any untoward incident.
Meghalaya and Assam governments have agreed to seek an investigation by the National Investigation Agency or the Central Bureau of Investigation into the firing.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma visited the families of the victims of the Mukroh firing incident and handed over ex-gratia payment of ₹5 lakh to the next of kin. He also told a gathering at the village that the government has decided to cancel all official functions and festivals to express solidarity with the people of Mukroh. The CM assured the protesting pressure groups that the government of Assam is cooperating with the probe.

Sangma also told them that the officials concerned, including the officer in-charge of the police station and forest officials, have been suspended and the SP of West Karbi Anglong has been transferred.

During Sangma’s visit, the Jaintia Students Union submitted a memorandum demanding a police outpost at Mukroh. The chief minister told them that the state government has set up an outpost at Barato, which will soon be functional, and that he will deliberate on the demand for an outpost at Mukroh.

Sangma also heard the concerns of the villagers at Mukroh and said they would be taken up with the home ministry for redress. For the second day running, vehicles from Assam were not allowed to enter Meghalaya as a precautionary measure. In several places in Meghalaya, people flew black flags as a mark of protest. The Meghalaya government has beefed up security in the vulnerable areas.

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