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Clashes between Assam and Meghalaya villagers averted

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Nongpoh, May 16: An imminent clash between residents of Meghalaya and Assam was successfully defused on Thursday at Maikhuli, a border village between the two states, following a tense standoff over the transporting of boulders from Meghalaya to Assam.

The situation was brought under control through the prompt intervention of Meghalaya Police, Assam Police, and respective magistrates from both sides.

According to sources, the incident unfolded when villagers from Assam, frustrated by the deteriorating condition of internal roads and frequent waterlogging caused by the passage of dumpers carrying boulders from a stone quarry in Meghalaya, erected bamboo barricades to block the passage of these heavy vehicles.

The Assam villagers had previously demanded repairs to the road, the construction of culverts, and the implementation of a proper drainage system to mitigate damage caused by heavy vehicular traffic. In response to these concerns, consultations involving local leaders from both Meghalaya and Assam were held. As a goodwill gesture, the stone quarry company, Sureka Enterprise, undertook repairs to the road using paver blocks. However, the onset of the rainy season, combined with the continued passage of heavy vehicles, led to the road once again succumbing to damage.

Tensions escalated when villagers from Maikhuli, Ri Bhoi District, in Meghalaya, confronted the Assam villagers at the site of the bamboo barricades, leading to heated exchanges and a clash was looming large. The situation was brought under control with the timely arrival of police personnel from Pilangkata Outpost, Basistha and Jorabat Police Stations, as well as the intervention of magistrates from both the states.

Following discussions between the authorities, the agitated villagers removed the bamboo barricades. Magistrates from both Meghalaya and Assam instructed the villagers not to undertake any construction on the road, as the same will be referred to the district administration level in order to address concerns comprehensively.

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