A group of villagers from Meghalaya vandalized and burnt down a forest office in Assam’s West Karbi Anglong district, soon after six people were killed in clashes along the contentious region near the inter-state border.
Residents of Mukroh village in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district assembled in front of a beat office in the Kheroni Forest Range in Assam along the interstate border on Tuesday night, and set the building ablaze.
Armed with machetes, rods and sticks, the mob set fire to items like furniture, papers, and motorcycles parked in the compound as well as the forest office.
However, no injury to the forest personnel has been reported so far. The villagers had left the area before a team of policemen and other security personnel reached the spot.
Following reports of attacks on vehicles from Assam in Meghalaya, the Assam Police continued to advise car owners to avoid entering the neighbouring state for safety.
The police personnel put up barricades and urged people not to travel to the hill state in a vehicle bearing a number plate from Assam.
According to the Deputy Commissioner (East) of Guwahati Police – Sudhakar Singh, “Since yesterday, we have been advising people not to go to Meghalaya till the situation completely normalizes. We are only requesting the private and small car owners not to travel as miscreants are targeting such vehicles there.” He, however, noted that the commercial vehicles have not been stopped as of now.
As per PTI sources, a car with an Assam number plate was set ablaze in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong on Tuesday evening after miscreants asked the passengers to leave the vehicle.
Some taxi drivers, who returned to Guwahati on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, said that the Meghalaya Police escorted them to the Assam border, but still, stones were pelted on their vehicles by onlookers while on the move.
The Cachar Superintendent of Police (SP) – Numal Mahatta said they asked vehicles from Assam and other states not to travel through Meghalaya as per requests from the hill state.
“The Meghalaya Police had requested us to control vehicles going inside their state following the disturbances. Restrictions have been put in place as a precautionary measure for the safety of the people,” he added.
Six people, including a forest guard, were killed in violence at a disputed area on the Assam-Meghalaya border in the early hours of Tuesday after a truck allegedly laden with illegally felled timber was intercepted by forest guards from Assam.
The Meghalaya government suspended mobile internet services in seven districts, while the Assam Police sounded alert in the border districts and also ordered an inquiry by a retired high court judge into the matter.