Guwahati: At least five civilians and a forest guard were killed and a dozen injured in a violent clash at Mukhro under Jirikending police station in West Karbi Anglong along the Assam-Meghalaya border on Tuesday morning.
According to reports, a forest guard from Assam was killed in the miscreants’ attack while five civilians from Meghalaya were killed in the Assam police firing.
The slain forest guard has been identified as Bidya Singh Lekhte.
Police sources said the clash between the Assam police and a group of people from Meghalaya broke out after Karbi Aglong district forest officials seized a truck transporting illegal timber in the early hours of Tuesday.
West Karbi Anglong SP Imdad Ali said the truck was intercepted on the Meghalaya border by an Assam Forest Department team at around 3 am.
As the truck tried to flee, the forest guards fired at it and punctured a tyre. The driver, a handyman and another person were apprehended, while others managed to escape, he said.
The forest guards informed the Zirikending police station and asked for reinforcements, he added.
As police reached the spot, a strong mob from Meghalaya armed with sharp weapons gathered at the spot at around 5 am, the officer said.
As the mob gheraoed the forest guards and the police, demanding the immediate release of those arrested, the officers fired at them to bring the situation under control, he said.
“A forest home guard and three persons of the Khasi community were killed. The situation is under control,” the SP told a news agency.
The incident has sparked tension in Meghalaya.
The story has been updated.