Guwahati, Sep 22, 2023, IANS
Guwahati, Sep 22 (IANS): Investigation committee set up by the Assam government to look into a clash that left six people dead at the Assam-Meghalaya border has submitted its report.
The report was submitted on Wednesday to the Additional Chief Secretary of the Assam government's Home and Political Department by the one-person panel led by Justice (Retd) Rumi Kumari Phukan.
However, the report on the conflict, which occurred on November 22, 2022, in the disputed Mukroh area in the West Karbi Anglong area, has not yet been made public.
“The period to complete the enquiry was extended twice as sought for till September 22, 2023. The Commission examined large number of witnesses and documents produced by Forests as well as Police Department and different organizations,” an official press release said.
When a truck carrying allegedly illegally felled timber was stopped by Assam forest personnel on November 22, six people -- a forest guard and five Meghalaya villagers -- were killed in ensuing violence at the disputed spot. A joint squad of the Assam Police and Forest Protection Force and the Mukroh people from Meghalaya's West Jaintia Hills district engaged in combat.
On the Assam side, the contested territory is located near the Kheroni forest range in Makoilum village. The entire battle zone is located along a disputed border between Assam and Meghalaya, both of which asserted that the killing occurred within their respective borders.
Two days after the incident the Assam government declared on November 24, 2022, that the Justice (Retd) Phukan-led Enquiry Commission had been established to look into the events leading up to the disaster. It had two months to look into the situation and deliver a report as a result.
The area where the incident occurred is one of 12 locations along the 884.9 mile interstate border where Assam and Meghalaya are at odds.
Home Minister Amit Shah was present when the two states signed a memorandum of agreement in March 2022 in New Delhi to settle their differences in six areas.
Since being separated from Assam in 1972, Meghalaya has contested the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, which Assam acknowledges as the interstate border.
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