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Meghalaya: Pressure groups continue border firing protest

Mukroh incident in which six lives were lost could have been avoided had the boundary issue been resolved: Roy Kupar Synrem
Conrad K. Sangma.
Conrad K. Sangma.
File photo

Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 28.11.22, 03:31 AM

Leading pressure groups in Meghalaya continued to protest against Tuesday’s Mukroh firing incident along the inter-state border with Assam even as the traffic movement between the two states remains disrupted for the fifth straight day.

The firing resorted to by Assam police in “self-defence” following an attack by people from Meghalaya had claimed the lives of five persons from Meghalaya and a forest guard from Assam, triggering a series of protests in Meghalaya and disrupting traffic owing to the prevailing tension.


Five pressure groups under the Save Hynniewtrep Mission (SHM) — Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), East Jaintia National Council (EJNC), Jaintia Students Movement (JSM), Hynniewtrep Achik National Movement (HANM) and Confederation of Ri Bhoi People (CoRP) — held a protest close to the chief minister’s official residence in the Polo area in Shillong on Saturday by burning the effigies of Sangma, his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union home minister Amit Shah.

The HYC general secretary Roy Kupar Synrem told The Telegraph that they burnt the effigies of the trio “in front” of the CM residence to protest the “inefficiency” of the two state governments and the Centre to resolve the inter-state boundary issue.

The NPP heads the government in Meghalaya, an ally of the BJP which heads the government in Assam.

While Meghalaya chief minister Sangma has attributed the incident to “unprovoked firing” inside his state (Mukroh village under West Jaintia Hills), his Assam counter part Sarma has claimed the incident took place within his state (Mukroh village under West Karbi Anglong district). There are 12 disputed stretches along the 884.9km long border that both states share.

Efforts are underway to resolve the dispute with both states reaching an agreement on six less complicated areas out of the 12 but the second phase of talks is likely to get delayed owing to the incident.

HYC’s Synrem said: “The Mukroh incident in which six lives were lost could have been avoided had the boundary issue been resolved. Home minister Shah had said last year at the NEC meeting that boundary disputes in the Northeast will be resolved when India celebrates its 75th Independence Day.

“Where is the solution? Lack of seriousness on part of the three governments led to the Mukroh tragedy. We want a resolution of the border issue at the earliest under the supervision of the Centre to prevent a repeat of Mukroh.”

After a one-hour meeting, those who participated in the SHM protest reached the CM’s residence but were not allowed to burn the effigies. After about 45 minutes of discussions, they were allowed to burn the effigies close to the CM’s bungalow, Synrem said.

Around the same time, the Hynniewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) held a meeting expressing solidarity with the victims of the firing incident at the state central library and then a team went to the Assam Bhavan to submit a memorandum to the resident commissioner, seeking protection of people living in the border areas.

“We condemned the firing resorted to by the Assam police leading to the death of innocent lives. We also condemned both governments’ failure to resolve the inter-state boundary issue,” HITO chief Donbok Dkhar said.

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