Assam cops, officials flex muscle in Ri Bhoi village
Mawhati MDC Charles Marngar allegedly manhandled
Nongpoh, July 26: In what can be termed as a show of strength, a posse of Assam Police assisted by magistrates from Kamrup on Monday forcefully removed electric posts laid by MeECL at Iongkhuli village under Raid Marwet in Meghalaya’s Ri Bhoi District, in spite of stiff opposition by the locals and the MDC of Mawhati, Charles Marngar.
Interestingly, this flare-up occurred just three days after the official border talks between Assam CM, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Meghalaya CM, Conrad K Sangma in Shillong.
The MDC of Mawhati, who visited Iongkhuli village to get first hand information of the incident on Monday, strongly criticised the highhandedness of Assam Police.
“I tried my level best to stop the forceful removal of electric posts by the Assam Police. Our women leaders from Meghalaya Peoples’ Social Organisation (MPSO), Ri Bhoi also tried their best, but unfortunately we could not do anything as we were outnumbered by Assam police personnel. They (Assam police) even manhandled me,” Marngar said.
“I have made a call to the Syiem of Raid Marwet and after looking at the land documents, it is clear that Iongkhuli belongs to Meghalaya,” Marngar asserted.
He also said that he had informed KHADC Chief Executive Member, Titosstarwell Chyne, who then reported the matter Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong over the incident.
Marngar also questioned why the Meghalaya Government did not depute adequate police force in the disputed areas. “I had informed the Ri Bhoi SP in the morning, but unfortunately, he arrived at the spot only around 4 pm,” Marngar added.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Monday, Asst. Inspector General of Police, GK Iangrai said that around 11 am the Circle Magistrate from Batistha, Assam, accompanied by senior police officials and a sizable number of personnel arrived at Iongkhuli village and dismantled the poles erected by Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) on the same stretch where Assam Electricity Board had erected poles in January 2021.
According to Iangrai, the action of the Magistrate and the Assam police was met with stiff resistance from locals of Iongkhuli.
The statement said that officials from Meghalaya comprising of an Addl. District Magistrate, the Ri Bhoi SP, the officer in-charge of Khanapara Police Station and in-charge of Pilangkata Outpost immediately proceeded to the spot to pacify the matter and to deliberate with Assam officials.
“At present the situation is under control and there have been no reports of any untoward incidents,” he said.