Four companies of central forces deployed in M’laya

Uneasy peace descends on Mukroh village

SHILLONG, Nov 25: Four companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state to contain the law and order situation, even as an uneasy calm prevailed at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills, four days after “trigger-happy” cops and forest guards from Assam gunned down five residents of the village on Tuesday.
Confirming the deployment of central forces Director-General of Police Lajja Ram Bishnoi told The Shillong Times on Friday that two companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in Shillong while two companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) have been deployed in Ri-Bhoi and Jaintia Hills districts.
After Tuesday’s incident, the Meghalaya Police deployed a platoon at Mukroh and also at Barato village.
West Jaintia Hills SP Bikram Marak on Friday said the situation at Mukroh was peaceful with the people reassured by the presence of a strong force.
“There are no restrictions in the village and people from both sides are freely coming and going to the village,” he said.
The DGP pointed out that the situation in the city was “normal” and “under control” with no untoward incident being reported on Friday. He was confident that the situation would become fully normal in the next couple of days.
Asked about the police strategy to deal with the law-and-order situation, the DGP said police have made necessary arrangements. He, however, refused to divulge details.
“Emotions were running high after five tribals were killed by Assam Police and this is why we showed restrain so as not to aggravate the situation,” the top cop said.
He also confimed that Mukroh village was by and large peaceful but tense.
Bishnoi, who had visited the village on Thursday to review the law-and-order situation in the area, told TST that the villagers were quite scared after the incident but normalcy is slowly returning to Mukroh.
“The villagers told us that they often go to faraway paddy fields to harvest their crops. We assured them that if needed, we will provide escort throughout the day,” he said.
Assuring the villagers of protection, he said that the locals are apprehensive that the Assam police personnel may create problems since their paddy fields are very close to the interstate boundary and they have to go there frequently.
Terming the killing of the villagers as tragic and unfortunate, the DGP said he held discussions with the Assam Police officials at their Mokoilum outpost.
The Assam Police officials came to know about the grievances of the villagers during the interaction, he added.
The DGP also commiserated with the families of the five people who lost their lives in the firing incident.
However, officials from Assam said the situation at the clash site continues to remain tense but under control with security forces ensuring no further flare-ups. They claimed the clash site is located in West Karbi Anglong district.
Restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC remain in force in the area, they added.

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