Two killed in police firing in Meghalaya

May 14th, 2010 - 11:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, May 14 (IANS) Two people were killed and several others were injured Friday in police firing at the disputed Langpih village on the Meghalaya-Assam border, a top police officer said.
Meghalaya’s former home minister and local legislator H.S. Lyngdoh put the death toll at seven.

“My counterpart in Assam (Sankar Barua) informed me that two bodies were recovered from the incident site. I cannot confirm about the five others,” Meghalaya Director General of Police S.B. Kakati told IANS, adding a police team has been rushed to Langpih to get the correct picture.

Confirming the incident, Chief Minister Mukul M.Sangma told IANS he was awaiting an official report.

“I don’t want to comment on the details of the incident as an official report of what has happened and casualties is still awaited, but a preliminary report indicates that there has been a firing incident in Langpih area,” he said.

Sangma held a high-level meeting with Chief Secretary W.M.S.Pariat, Principal Home Secretary C.D. Kynjing and senior police officials after the incident.

“I had talked with Assam Revenue Minister Bhumidhar Barman and urged upon him that it is very important to ensure security of all sections of people,” he said, adding there should be a serious investigation into the incident.

Lyngdoh, who represents the Nongstoin assembly constituency under which Langpih area comes, said it was the Assam police that had opened fire after a clash between tribal Khasis and Garos with Nepalese nationals.

“The Nepalese later fled to the police station in Assam and immediately the Assam police personnel opened fire indiscriminately at our people,” he said.

Langpih village has been a bone of contention between Assam and Meghalaya.

In 1985, the two state governments entrusted former chief justice of India Y.V. Chandrachud to head a committee of experts for opinion on the constitutional aspects of the boundary demarcation between the two states.

Assam claimed Langpih, based on the recommendations of Chandrachud Committee report, but Meghalaya rejected the report and claimed Langpih on the basis of revenue records dating back to 1876 that clearly show the village in its territory.

A boundary committee headed by the chief secretaries of both states had been formed to resolve the issue amicably.

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