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Centre to probe firing across Assam -Meghalaya border

By Gaurav

Langpih (Assam), May 19 (ANI): The Union Government will step in to conduct a probe into the firing across the border between Assam and Meghalaya states, which killed four people and left 26 others injured.

On Friday, the firing by Assam Police began in the border village of Langpih after a clash between the communities of Nepalese, and tribal Khasis and Garos at a weekly market.

On Tuesday, some Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) and the United Democratic Party of Meghalaya (UDPM) called for a 12-hour shutdown to protest against it.

Union Minister of State for Rural Development, Agatha Sangma, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Conrad Sangma, and Mukul Sangma, visited the place on Tuesday.

Agatha addressed the mixed population of Nepalis, Khasis and Garos and condemned the incident.

"When I go back...we have already said that the team from Home Ministry should come and do an inquiry and, of course, a permanent solution will have to be made for this (border dispute) ituation," she said,

"This cannot happen again and this is a disputed land between Assam and Meghalaya, and both the states will have to come together to an amicable solution to ensure that a situation like this does not arise because innocent lives are being lost," Agtha added.

Agtha also hinted that she would meet the Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to discuss the matter.

However, Conrad felt that the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) is not concerned about the people.

"During MUA's time, they have not come even once. This simply shows the lack of interest to solve this problem. There is a complete lack of any attention being given here," said Conrad Sangma.

"So they don't want to, you know, focus on the people. That's what the problem is. So I don't know if the two governments...being Congress in the Centre, Congress in Assam, Congress in Meghalaya, there should not be an issue to solve this problem," he added.

Meanwhile, the State Government has decided to post police personnel at Langpih to provide a sense of security to the people living in the area.

"We have discussed this issue even with the political parties. This issue deserves discussions at the highest levels, including both the governments of Meghalaya and Assam, and with the nvolvement of Government of India," said Mukul Sangma,

"If you look at the kind of situation being witnessed on the 14th (May), I think we all will agree that this issue needs immediate attention for its meaningful settlement," he added.

Mukul added that he is keen on finding a permanent solution to the border issues.

NCP leaders also said they would be raising this issue in the next session of the state assembly.

The state cabinet has also decided to increase the compensation from Rs100,000 to Rs 300,000 to the families of the deceased in the Langpih firing.(ANI)

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