Conrad Sangma seeks probe by human rights commission into firing
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on Friday appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to take “necessary action” in the Mukroh firing incident that claimed the lives of six persons because it was a “clear case” of human rights violation.
Sangma met the NHRC brass less than a day after meeting Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi to seek a probe by a central agency into the incident involving two states.
Shah has “agreed” to a CBI probe, which the Assam government had also demanded.
Sangma made the request during a meeting with NHRC chairperson Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, secretary-general Devendra Kumar Singh and member Rajiv Jain in New Delhi. Sangma, accompanied by deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong and home secretary Cyril V.D. Diengdoh, said they had apprised the NHRC about the incident that took place in Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills district on Tuesday morning.
“We apprised them about how the Assam police had fired on the civilians and public in that village, which led to six people losing their lives. And we explained and expressed how this was a very inhuman act and a complete violation of human rights,” he said.
“We have apprised them about the entire action that has been taken... that a CBI inquiry will take place. And we have asked (the NHRC) for their support in this matter and also requested them to take action as this is a clear case of human rights violation,” Sangma added.
Five persons from Meghalaya and a forest guard from Assam lost their lives in the firing incident that both state governments claim took place within their respective territories.
Assam police officers have said they fired in self-defence after being “surrounded and attacked” by local people when they went to Mukroh, located in Assam’s West Karbi Anglong district to bring back a seized truck carrying illegal timber on Tuesday morning.
The incident has impacted normal life in poll-bound Meghalaya where the NPP heads the coalition government in which the BJP is a minor constituent.
During their meeting with the NHRC, Sangma said they had also stressed the need for “proper sensitisation of forces deputed in sensitive border areas” to prevent a repeat of such an incident anywhere in the country where “innocent” lives are lost.
Sangma on Thursday said Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had stated that “the entire incident of the shooting that took place was unprovoked and there was excess use of power by police from Assam”.
On Wednesday, Sarma had said the police could have “exercised some control” while resorting to firing to control the situation along the inter-state border with Meghalaya.