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Tuki, Gogoi seek probe into killings

Jan. 30: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki said this evening that he would request the Union home ministry to institute an independent inquiry into the killings at Tarasso (Behali in Assam) area, while his Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi sought a CBI probe.

Union home secretary Shambhu Singh had told television channels that the NDFB might have a hand in the incident but Gogoi ruled out its involvement to The Telegraph this evening in Jorhat.

He said miscreants from Arunachal Pradesh were responsible for the killings.

Both Tuki and Gogoi, however, asserted that the probes would not hamper age-old friendly ties between the two states.

Gogoi also called Tuki who has promised his co-operation to book the culprits.

Tuki has condemned the “gruesome” incident and said the incident will not affect cordial relations between the two states, an Assam government release said today.

“The situation needs to be handled with utmost care by both states in order to ensure the situation does not deteriorate. We must also maintain age-old friendly relations at any cost. The law should take its own course. I have also written to Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoiji for taking adequate steps for ensuring safety and security of the people in both states. Peace and tranquillity has to be reinstated for the welfare of all,” Tuki said in Itanagar, while condemning the incident in the strongest terms.

Tuki convened two high-level meetings since last night to take stock of the situation. Teams have been sent to the disputed area this morning and they are in constant touch with their Assam counterparts, he added.

Assam director-general of police Khagen Sarma said two additional police companies have been deployed at Bihali and senior officers, including additional director-general of police (Special Task Force) R.M. Singh and inspector-general (law and order) S.N. Singh, are camping in the area to supervise the operations.

“The area where last night’s incident occurred is deep inside a jungle where there is no mobile connectivity or any other communication facility, which is creating some problem in conducting operations,” he said.

Residents today blocked the national highway at Behali to protest last night’s killings.

Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will convene a meeting with Gogoi and Tuki next week in the backdrop of the killings.

The two Congress leaders will meet Shinde and discuss ways to iron out issues that have been a source of friction along the inter-state border. Sources said the meeting could take place in the first week of February.

The development has sparked concern in the Union home ministry. Sources here said settlers from Assam include a mixed population of Adivasis, Bengali and Nepali-speaking people.

Encroachment has been ‘encouraged’ by some groups, home ministry sources have said.