Assam government to prepare SOP to avoid inter-state violence

by IANS |

Guwahati, Nov 24 (IANS) In the wake of the simmering tensions at the Assam-Meghalaya border due to a police firing that killed six people earlier this week, the Assam government has decided to prepare a new standard operating procedure (SOP) against using lethal weapons while controlling angry mobs in sensitive inter-state bordering zones, officials said on Thursday.

The decision was taken at a state cabinet meeting on Wednesday held at the national capital on the sidelines of the celebration of the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Barphukan.

It is learned that the border violence issue was discussed in detail during the meeting.

Assam Tourism Minister Jayanta Mallabaruah, said: "The state cabinet has given its approval on preparing an SOP, especially recommending manuals for using lethal weapons at sensitive zones in the inter-state borders. It will decide what weapons or measures need to be used while controlling an unrest mob so that such incidents can be averted in the future."

He further mentioned that the state's Home and Forest Departments will prepare the new SOP.

Earlier, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the police could have shown more restraint before firing to disrupt the mob.

He blamed the police and mentioned that it was an unprovoked firing.

On Tuesday, the Assam Police and forest guards intercepted a truck carrying timber at Mukroh village in Meghalaya's West Jaintia Hills district and after that, a large number of people from the village reached the spot and surrounded the police and forest guards leading to the firing.

Five civilians and an Assam forest guard were killed as a result.

Tension has since prevailed in the village and different parts of the 885-km-long inter-state border, necessitating deployment of additional security forces in the sensitive areas by both neighbouring states.

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