Six persons died on Tuesday in Mukroh village of Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district after the Assam Police opened fire at them. Five of those killed are residents of Meghalaya, while one is an official of the Assam Forest Guard.
The firing took place after the Assam Police and the Assam Forest Guard chased down a truck carrying timber from their state before detaining it at Mukroh village, said Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
“The state government strongly condemns the incident in which the Assam Police and the Assam Forest Guard entered Meghalaya and resorted to unprovoked firing,” the chief minister said. “The government of Meghalaya will take all steps possible to ensure that justice is done and action is taken against all those responsible for this inhumane act.”
At the press conference, Sangma said that a Cabinet meeting will be held at 5.30 pm to decide on the next step.
A compensation of Rs 5 lakh will be given to the families of those who died, he said.
Videos showed villagers marching towards the Assam officers. A few seconds later, the police open fire and the villagers start to flee.
Assam’s West Karbi Anglong District Superintendent of Police Imdad Ali told PTI news agency that the forest guards opened fired at the truck carrying illegal timber, after it tried to flee. He said that the villagers, armed with weapons, were demanding that the police release those in the truck.