Assam: Tension simmers in West Karbi Anglong as ‘trespassers’ from Meghalaya indulges in ‘mindless vandalism’

Assam and Meghalaya Governments to discuss border skirmishes on July 20

DIPHU
border skirmishes
The signboard put up by 'trespassers' from Meghalaya in West Karbi Anglong district. Photo Credit - Northeast Now

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‘Miscreants’ from Meghalaya reportedly entered Chinthong in West Karbi Anglong district of Assam on Tuesday and put up a signboard proclaiming that the area belongs to them. Though things have come to such a pass, the Assam Government and the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) authorities are still in “deep slumber” and are yet to realise the gravity of the situation.

The Local Member of Autonomous Council (MAC) and Executive Member (EM) of KAAC, Prodip Rongpi, said that he was “totally helpless” about the situation in the border areas of his constituency Chinthong in
West Karbi Anglong.

However, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of West Karbi Anglong, Debojyoti Hazarika, informed that a meeting will be held on July 20 next between the Meghalaya and Assam Governments on the border issue.

Tension seems to be reportedly simmering at the Assam-Meghalaya border too as miscreants from the neighbouring State are trying to “create unrest”. It is reported that “trespassers” from Meghalaya entered Assam and damaged a signboard put up by the Forest Department and replaced it with their own on which was written – ‘Sabuda, Raid Nongthang, Ri-Bhoi District’.

According to sources, on Tuesday, people from Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya entered Sabuda in West Karbi Anglong. The group vandalised the signboard put up by the Range Officer of Umjakini Range and replaced it with the said signboard.

The president of All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union (AAGSU), Amri-Chinthong Regional Committee, Kiron Gimere, told Northeast Now over phone that on July 10, between 10 to 11 am in the morning, about 30 miscreants from
Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya entered Sabuda in 10 four-wheelers and damaged the signboard put up by the
Forest Department of Karbi Anglong.

The same group also set ablaze a road roller at Umpakalang. The miscreants’ group damaged the boundary walls of few half-constructed buildings – all under various Government schemes.

EM Pradip Rongpi said, “I came to know about the incident on Tuesday itself. I have intimated the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and Superintendent of Police (SP) of West Karbi Anglong, the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of KAAC, Tuliram Ronghang, and the Hill Areas Development (HAD) minister. The people living in the border areas of West Karbi Anglong as well as people on the other side of Meghalaya want to live in peaceful coexistence. The people from West Karbi Anglong have to cross over to Ri-bhoi district (Meghalaya) as the nearest market is in
Ri-Bhoi district. It is only the anti-social elements who are trying to foment an undesirable situation.”

He urged both the Governments of Assam and Meghalaya to solve the border skirmishes at the earliest so that the people living along the border areas can “carry on with their routine life in a peaceful manner”.

Debojyoti Hazarika also informed that the signboard put up by trespassers from Meghalaya was removed by the Karbi Anglong Forest Department staff on Wednesday and was seized by the police of Ulukunchi Outpost.

Nongee Terang
Nongee Terang is Northeast Now Correspondent in Diphu. He can be reached at: nongee.terang@gmail.com