Shillong, November 22:
Shoot to prevent wood smuggling! Meghalaya police opened fire when the traffickers tried to stop them. Total of six people, including a forest guard, were killed in police firing on the Assam-Meghalaya border. Three of the victims were from the Khasi community. After this incident, Meghalaya is heated in many ways. The overall situation has become unusually heated after the shooting incident. Due to this incident, mobile internet services have been suspended for 48 hours in 7 districts of Meghalaya from Tuesday. The Meghalaya government informed this information in a notification on Tuesday.
Internet stopped in West Jaintia Hills, East Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi, East West Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said a total of six people were killed, including five from Meghalaya and a forest guard from Assam. The injured have been taken to hospital and the Meghalaya Police has started an investigation into the matter.
The Meghalaya Chief Minister wrote on his social media handle, "In an unfortunate incident that occurred at Mukroh village in West Jaiñtia Hills District, 6 persons died due to firing by Assam Police and Assam Forest Guards. Out of the 6 deceased individuals, 5 were Meghalaya residents and 1 is from the Assam Forest Guard. I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the deceased- Sh. Thal Shadap, Sh. Nikhasi Dhar, Sh.Sik Talang, Sh.Tal Nartiang and Sh. Chirup Sumer. May these precious souls rest in peace.
The Meghalaya Government strongly condemns the incident where the Assam Police and Assam Forest Guards entered Meghalaya and resorted to unprovoked firing. The Government of Meghalaya will take all steps to ensure that justice is served and action is taken against those responsible in this inhuman act. As a mark of respect and mourning for the deceased, the State Government has decided to cancel all official festivals including the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival.
Hon’ble Home Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui has reached the spot of the incident and FIR has been registered by the Meghalaya Police. An ex gratia compensation of ₹5 Lakh each will be released to the next of kin the deceased individuals. The Cabinet will sit today to decide on the next course of action which the Government will take with regards to this incident. We also had a meeting with traditional heads, Rangbah Shnongs and religious leaders, members of Civil Society and NGOs to discuss, inform and appeal for their support to stand together in these difficult times.I appeal to all citizens of the State to pray for the departed souls and their families. I also appeal to our citizens to maintain peace and harmony in the State. The State Government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that law and order is maintained.