Former CM terms Assam-Meghalaya border incident as ‘genocide’

Guwhati, November 24 (KMS): Senior Trinamool Congress leader and former Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma has termed the killing of six people including five Meghalaya villagers in Assam Police’s open firing on the Assam-Meghalaya boundary as “genocide.”

Sangma visited the survivors of the firing incident at the Jowai Civil Hospital and the kin of the deceased, assuring them of full support. Several people were also  injured  in the incident.

The incident took place when a team from the Assam forest department tried to intercept a truck allegedly carrying smuggled timber, around 7 am. The vehicle sped away, leading to a chase that ended in Meghalaya territory after the forest guards managed to puncture one of the truck’s tyres. Local villagers saw this as trespass and surrounded the Assam police and forest guards. Five villagers were killed in Assam Police firing. The sixth deceased is an Assam police officer.

Meghalaya has been witnessing the massive protests across state following the killings.

Calling this incident as a ‘genocide’ and complete failure of the state in providing safety and security to the people residing in border areas, he said, “As per the inputs made available to us, it is a genocide. We have to see the circumstances leading to the situation. Over the decades, similar challenges have confronted us. Having learnt from the past, we have mutually had exhaustive discussion, deliberation and engagement, SOPs were laid down to deal with such situations. In the recent past, it has been observed that they have completely deviated from the SOPs and there is absolute lack of coherence between the states.”

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