Condemning the firing incident in Meghalaya’s Mukroh village in which six persons lost their lives, the North East Students’ Organization (NESO), an apex body of eight influential students’ organisations of the region, on November 22 said the incident is not an “ethnic issue” but stems from a border dispute between the two states.
“NESO would also like to call upon all the indigenous peoples that this issue is not an ethnic issue but a border dispute which the respective state governments are duty bound to solve,” NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa said.
He said the border disputes vary and differ from area to area. However, the organization urged upon all state governments “to be committed to solving this long pending problem once and for all.”
“If necessary, the central government should be a party in these dialogues and NESO on its part will continue to encourage people-to-people contact and relationship along the border areas,” Jyrwa said.
He added: “Once the borders are properly demarcated with a unanimous settlement, then peace will usher between different states while citing past violent incidents along the border areas.”
Meanwhile, several political leaders, across party lines, and organizations have condemned the firing incident.
The Khasi Students Union has demanded that all Assam police outposts in Meghalaya’s territory must be removed and further sought action against the policemen responsible for the firing.
The union would also hold a black flag protest in seven districts of the state from November 23.
Condemning the firing, Minister in-charge Arts and Culture, Sanbor Shullai wrote a letter and sought action against those responsible for the firing. Seeking justice for the dead, Shullai from the BJP said, the BJP seeks suspension and action against those responsible for the brutal act.
The opposition Trinamool Congress on the other hand took out a candle-lit vigil in the state capital this evening in memory of those killed.
Senior TMC legislator and leader of the opposition, Mukul Sangma left for Mukroh to assess the ground situation.
The NPP youth front condemning the firing said action must be taken against those officials responsible for the attacks.
The United Democratic Party, a political party from the state, has demanded an NIA probe into the incident.
Opposition Congress leader John A Lyngdoh condemned the firing and said, the MDA government is inept.