Contrary to his earlier claims, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on March 13, informed the Assam Assembly that Mukroh, in which a clash took place between the Assam Police and Meghalaya people, is within the boundary of Assam and is under the jurisdiction of West Karbi Anglong district.
Sarma earlier on many occasions mentioned Mukroh as a place of Meghalaya. In the state cabinet meeting on November 23, 2022, also, mentioned Mukroh as a place of Meghalaya.
Replying to an unstarred question from BJP MLA Bidyasing Engleng, Sarma informed the House that Mukroh is within the boundary of Assam and falls under West Karbi Anglong district.
Engleng wanted to know whether Mukro is inside Assam or in the territory of Meghalaya state.
“The clash between a team of Assam Police and timber smugglers of Meghalaya took place within the boundary of Assam on November 22, 2022. Assam Police was accompanied by a team of Forest Protection Force (FPF),” the chief minister said quoting the report of the superintendent of police (border).
However, the chief minister said this incident is not related to the boundary dispute between the two neighbouring states.
When asked about the claim of Meghalaya over Mukroh, Sarma said the state government is reviewing the demand of Meghalaya on Mukroh.
“The incident took place following the seizure of a timber-laden truck by Forest Protection Force and Assam Police from timber smugglers of Meghalaya,” Sarma said.
Six persons, including an Assam forest official Bidyasing Lekthe, were killed in the firing by the police personnel at Mukroh in Assam’s West Karbi Anglong district along the Assam-Meghalaya boundary on November 22.
The chief minister also laid a list of 12 other persons who were injured in the clash.
Sarma also informed the House that a total of Rs 10 lakh has been provided to the family of deceased forest guard Bidyasing Lekthe from both Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) and Karbi Anglong District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
Stating that the state government is always concerned about the safety and security of the border residents, the chief minister said a total of six Border Out Posts (BOPs) are functional in West Karbi Anglong district along the interstate border.
“Police are maintaining regular patrol along the border to thwart any attempt to disrupt peace in the border,” Sarma also said.
“There are many villages in West Karbi Anglong district which are adjacent to the Meghalaya border,” Sarma further said.
He mentioned a few villages- Sabuda, Umlapher, Ulukunchi, Khanduli, Mokoiram, Arting, Umkhermi, No 2 Umrah, Umeli, Umswai and Impanai, which border Meghalaya.
Sarma also laid a list of incidents which took place in the West Karbi Anglong district in 2021 and 2022.
On February 2, 2021, Meghalaya Police demolished a bamboo gate set up by the forest department at Umsaphao.
On July 25, 2021, miscreants set ablaze a portion of a door of Langpher Primary School. A case No 17/2021 under section 435 of IPC has been registered at Hamren Police station in this connection.
On August 25, 2021, a group of people from Umlapher stopped 20 vehicles carrying 70 to 80 people from Meghalaya who was coming to attend a meeting of Hynniewtrep Young Council (HYC) at a Khasi village at Uma. Later, both Assam Police and Meghalaya Police brought the situation under control and sent back the vehicles to Meghalaya.
But later, a senior police official from Ri-Bhoi district tried to cross the road, in which locals agitated and assaulted the driver of the vehicle.
On April 1, 2022, the Baithalangso police station intervened in the situation when a group of armed Khasi people had an altercation with a shopkeeper at Umlapher. A case No 20/2022 was registered in Baithalangso police station under section 441/294/506/323/34 of IPC.
On April 4, 2022, armed Khasi miscreants attacked one Sanjay Gurung when he was returning home from Shilling at Borbasti. A case No 24/2022 has been registered at Baithalangso police station under section 294/323/341/34 of IPC.
On April 5, 2022, armed Khasi miscreants set ablaze cowsheds at the house of Lakhan Thapa and Nar Bahadur Sonar at Umphkhulung village. A case Nom21/2022 has been registered at Baithalangso police station under section 153(a)/836 of IPC.
On April 10, 2022, as many as 30 Khasi miscreants set ablaze on a wooden bridge at Umlian. Local residents doused the flame and captured three persons. A case No 22/2022 has been registered at Baithalangso police station under section 120(B)/453/153(A)/427 of IPV.
Notably, on December 24, 2022 chief minister had informed the House that the police firing in Mukroh was an act of self-defence and for the protection of government properties.
“Miscreants from Meghalaya attacked and killed forest guard Bidyasing Lekthe at Mukroh under Jirikinding police station and thereafter five other persons died as a result of police firing which was done for self-defence and protection of government properties,” Sarma had said replying to an unstarred question from BJP MLA Rupsing Teron.