Hours after the saffron party swept the Hindi heartland on the counting day for four states, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday expressed gratitude to the people of the country
In a significant development, the governments of Assam and Meghalaya have jointly decided to transfer the investigation of the Mukroh incident to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The incident, which occurred on November 22 last year, involved a fatal shooting by the Assam Forest Protection Force in Mukroh village, a disputed territory claimed by both Assam and Meghalaya. Six individuals lost their lives, including a forest guard and two others were injured, intensifying tensions in the region.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced the decision during a joint press conference. He said, “In an effort to foster trust and alleviate the burden on officers from both states, we have opted to discontinue the judicial commission established by both states for the Mukroh incident. Instead, we will collectively request the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct an impartial investigation into the matter. We propose that the CBI conduct its investigation in a neutral location, avoiding registration in either Shillong or Guwahati.”
Sarma highlighted the challenges faced by the judicial commissions, primarily stemming from uncooperative witnesses on both sides. “To ensure a fair and unbiased inquiry, we believe that involving an independent agency is the most appropriate course of action. This move aims to prevent any regional bias in the investigation,” he explained.
On the ongoing standoff at the Khanduli Police Control Room (PCR) between Assam and Meghalaya, he mentioned, “In response to the standoff, Assam police have established an outpost, and Meghalaya has done the same in close proximity, creating a confrontational situation. To de-escalate tensions, Assam police will deploy the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at the outpost, and Meghalaya will relocate its outpost, ensuring the presence of a neutral police force in the area.”
Additionally, the two state governments have reached an agreement to resolve disputes in three specific areas. The final details will be determined by regional committees, with a shared commitment to expedite the resolution process.
Regarding the six areas where disputes have already been resolved, the Survey of India has completed surveys in the Hahim sector. Soon, border pillars will be erected in these areas, with both state governments accepting the demarcation.
Meghalaya’s Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma, expressed optimism in a joint statement, saying, “We are pleased to inform the people of both Assam and Meghalaya that, after extensive efforts, we are nearing the finalization of boundary lines in the initial six disputed areas. We have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) addressing these differences. Today’s meeting endorsed the Hahim sector, where surveys have been completed, and the boundary line has been established.”
Sangma also highlighted progress in the remaining five disputed areas, stating, “Three of these areas are nearing resolution, and we are committed to completing the actual demarcation in all six areas covered by the MoU in the first phase by December 31, 2023.”
He underscored the active efforts of both states in addressing issues in other disputed areas, emphasizing the goal of achieving swift progress and resolution.