Days after six people were killed along the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border, the Meghalaya Cabinet on Tuesday approved setting up of seven outposts along the border of Assam.
One border outpost (BOP) will also be set up in the Mukroh village where the six people were killed in firing. Other BOPs will be set up in Langpih, Lejadubi, Umwali, Muriap and Rani along the Assam-Meghalaya border, according to Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.
Sangma further said, "The Cabinet approved the proposal for setting up seven BoPs across the Khasi Jaintia Hills region. Of these outposts, two will be erected at Mukroh and Tihwieh villages along the interstate border in West Jaintia Hills district."
He further said existing BOPs in Patharkhmah and Kyrshai will be upgraded to police stations, adding that the expenses for operating each outpost will be around Rs 2 crore annually.
Sangma said his government also directed the state's director general of police to pay a visit to certain villages in the disputed border areas and submit a report.
Of the six people killed in firing on November 22, five were Meghalaya residents and one was an Assam forest guard. Meghalaya reacted strongly to the incident and said "Assam Police and Assam Forest Guards entered Meghalaya and resorted to unprovoked firing". There were attacks across Meghalaya on Assam-registered vehicles after the firing incident.
On its part, the Assam governmetn said its personnel opened fire in self-defence when the forest party attempted to stop a truck smuggling timber.
"When the truck was stopped by the forest party personnel, they were gheraoed by unknown miscreants who resorted to violence. In order to save their lives, the forest party resorted to firing. In the incident, three civilians and one forest guard died," said a statement from Assam Police.
(With PTI inputs)