Mukroh village, others demand police outpost right on border

SHILLONG, Nov 23: The Waheh Shnong of Mukroh village Hamboi Sumer on Wednesday demanded that the state government set up a police outpost right on the interstate border.
Sumer told The Shillong Times they had requested Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to shift the proposed police outpost at Barato to the border since having a police outpost near the village would not ensure the safety of the residents.
According to him, the Assam police are able to commit atrocities and harass the villagers as Meghalaya police do not have an outpost near the border. He said if the proposed outpost is set up right on the border, the Meghalaya police will be able to prevent the Assam police from entering the villages.
The Waheh Shnong of Mukroh also asked the state government to give shoot-at-sight orders to the Meghalaya police if the Assam police try to enter Meghalaya. He said if the police personnel posted at the outpost cannot retaliate, then it will be better to keep them in Shillong.
“Why keep the police personnel in the border areas when they are not able to protect us,” Sumer asked.
He said the bodies of the five villagers – Thal Shadap (45), Nikhasi Dhar (65), Sik Talang (55), Tal Nartiang (40) and Chirup Sumer (40) – were laid to rest on Wednesday.
He said the villagers have no idea about the timber truck which the Assam police had intercepted at Lumpalang in Mukroh. He said the Assam police and the forest guards had detained the three villagers when they were returning from their paddy field.
“We had gone to request to release the three who were detained,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khasi Students’ Union Mukroh unit president Hamar Maskut claimed the Assam police and the forest guards did not find anyone when they had intercepted the timber-laden truck. He said the Assam police had detained the three villagers who were coming from their paddy field in a car on Monday evening. The villagers were carrying two sacks of paddy in the car, he said.
The KSU Mukroh unit president also said that the villagers had started to gather after learning that the three persons were illegally detained by the Assam police.
“More and more villagers started gathering as the police did not release them till (Tuesday) morning. Seeing a large crowd, the Assam police panicked and fired indiscriminately which led to the deaths of six people. Two others were seriously injured,” Maskut said.
He said the Assam police tried to cover up their guilt by alleging that the three taken into custody were carrying illegal timber to West Jaintia Hills. “We don’t know the timber belongs to whom,” he said.
The Assam police released the three persons following the intervention of West Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner BS Sohliya and Superintendent of Police Bikram Marak.
Supporting the demand to set up a police outpost right on the border, Maskut said there is no point having an outpost near the villagers.
“The police will be able to protect the people better if they are stationed near the border,” he added.

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