Assam-Meghalaya Tensions: Assam Allows Travel To Meghalaya Amid Police Escorts, Patrolling

Assam had restricted travel to Meghalaya following the deaths of six people in a firing incident on the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border.

Six persons were killed in firing incident on Assam-Meghalaya disputed border

Days after six people were killed in firing at the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border, Assam on Sunday lifted restrictions on travelling to Meghalaya.

Following the killings, Assam had restricted travel to Meghalaya as violence against Assam-registered vehicles was reported across Meghalaya.

"Wherever necessary, vehicles are being escorted. In other vulnerable areas, police patrolling has been provided," said a senior police officer to PTI, adding that travel to Meghalaya is now open. 

An advisory was issued by the Assam Police, asking people to avoid travelling to the neighbouring state following the incident on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, six people, which included five Meghalaya residents and one Assam forest guard, were killed in Mukroh village on the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border. The two states have 12 disputed stretches along their 884-km-long border. 

The Assam Police opened fire in what it says was an act of self-defence and took place when the forest party attempted to stop a truck smuggling timber. The Meghalaya government said "Assam Police and Assam Forest Guards entered Meghalaya and resorted to unprovoked firing".

Violence broke out in Meghalaya following the incident. On Wednesday, a group of villagers armed with machetes, rods, and sticks from Meghalaya allegedly entered Assam and vandalised and burnt down a forest office in West Karbi Anglong district. At least two vehicles —one in Mukroh village and another in Meghalaya's capital Shillong— were set on fire, as per officials.  

Assam vehicles were also targeted in Shillong. 

"Since yesterday, we have been advising people not to go to Meghalaya till the situation completely normalises. We are only requesting the private and small car owners not to travel as miscreants are targeting such vehicles there," said Deputy Commissioner (East) of Guwahati Police Sudhakar Singh to PTI on Wednesday.

Sources told PTI that a car with an Assam number plate was burnt in 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 the Meghalaya Police escorted them to the border, but still, their vehicles were pelted with stones by onlookers while on the move.

(With PTI inputs)

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