Assam, Meghalaya CMs in close touch post incident

Bilateral mechanism has to be operational at all levels: Expert

Guwahati, Nov 22: As tension prevailed along the Assam-Meghalaya border following the untoward incident at Mukroh along the inter-state boundary, the chief ministers of the two states were in touch with each other over phone on Tuesday morning.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is currently campaigning for the BJP in Gujarat ahead the upcoming polls in that state, assured Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma of all possible help and support to ascertain the circumstances leading to the firing, in which six persons, including an Assam forest guard, was killed.

During a media conference in Shillong, Sangma said he has been in touch with his Assam counterpart over phone.

“I have spoken to the Assam chief minister and briefed him about the incident. Our discussion was very brief. He has assured to take steps that are needed to be taken by the Assam government or any inquiry to be conducted into the incident,” Sangma said.

Expert opinion

Notably, while Meghalaya chief minister has maintained that the incident was “not connected to the border dispute”, experts here said that both states would have to initiate confidence building measures till a final resolution of the border issues was arrived at and the border areas demarcated.

“Both states are making contradictory statements and claiming the area in question to be within each other’s jurisdiction. So, apparently, there is a dispute there,” said a political analyst here.

“There has to be a bilateral mechanism, from the highest to the police station level, has to be always operational both at the administrative and community levels in areas which are disputed till the areas are demarcated and issues resolved in the 12 areas of differences,” he said.

He further suggested joint operations in the disputed areas, either by a neutral authority or joint forces in close coordination, so that incidents such as these do not recur.

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