Human rights scan on Assam firing
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday said it had taken cognisance of the violence in the disputed area on the Assam-Meghalaya border that claimed six lives earlier this month.
Pursuant to the receipt of a memorandum by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma, the NHRC said it had asked the Union home secretary and the Assam chief secretary to suggest measures to prevent such incidents.
Six persons, including an Assam forest official, were killed in firing by the Assam police and Assam Forest Guards at Mukroh village in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district November 22.
The NHRC observed that the incident seemed to have taken place due to the border dispute between Assam and Meghalaya, which was a larger issue that had been pending for long.
“Prima facie it appears that had this dispute been settled, such type of incident would have been averted. Whatsoever may be the dispute between the states, police have to use restrain in such situations,” the NHRC spokesperson said in a statement issued here.
There is a need to examine the standard operating procedure, if any, in vogue about firing by the armed forces/police in disputed areas between states, the commission added.
Accordingly, the commission has sent Sangma’s memorandum to the Union home secretary and the Assam chief secretary.
“They are to examine and evolve mechanisms/suggest measures to prevent such types of incidents, particularly in areas in which there is a border dispute between neighbouring states. The response is expected in two weeks,” the commission said.