Guwahati, Nov 22: All the vehicles travelling from Assam to Meghalaya were stopped at Jorabat neat here today by Meghalaya Police as a precautionary measure in the wake of the firing incident on Assam-Meghalaya boundary at Mukroh village.
Meanwhile, all the festivals in Meghalaya including the Cherry Blossom festival in Shillong have been cancelled due to this morning's firing incident on the Assam-Meghalaya boundary, according to Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
The Chief Minister who held an emergency meeting today said that the Meghalaya Government would contact the Union Home Minister to express its grievances following the incident at Mukroh.
Conrad said that the place of incident is well within Meghalaya and an FIR has been filed. It was also informed that six people have died in the incident and 2 others seriously injured.
Cancellation of Cherry Blossom Festival is bound to serve a blow to the state's tourism sector given that a lot of tourists were due to arrive for the two-day festival that was scheduled to begin on November 24 . All hotels in Shillong and neighbouring areas are fully booked in view of the festival that is construed Meghalaya's answer to Horn Bill fest of Nagaland
Conrad Sangma condoled the death of six persons in the unfortunate incident that occurred at Mukroh village in West Jaiñtia Hills District.
“Six persons died due to firing by Assam Police and Assam Forest Guards. Out of the six deceased individuals, five were Meghalaya residents and 1one is from the Assam Forest Guard,” the Chief Minister said.
“I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the deceased- Sh. Thal Shadap, Sh. Nikhasi Dhar, Sh.Sik Talang, Sh.Tal Nartiang and Sh. Chirup Sumer. May these precious souls rest in peace,” the CM said in a statement.
“The Meghalaya Government strongly condemns the incident where the Assam Police and Assam Forest Guards entered Meghalaya and resorted to unprovoked firing.
“The Government of Meghalaya will take all steps to ensure that justice is served, and action is taken against those responsible in this inhuman act,” he said.
Meanwhile, as a mark of respect and mourning for the deceased, Meghalaya Government has decided to cancel all official festivals including the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival.
State Home Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui has reached the spot of the incident and FIR has been registered by the Meghalaya Police.
An ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 Lakh each will be released to the next of kin of the deceased.
“I appeal to all citizens of the State to pray for the departed souls and their families. I also appeal to our citizens to maintain peace and harmony in the State. The State Government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that law and order is maintained,” he further said.