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Border clashes: Assam, Meghalaya agree on independent probe

india Updated: May 15, 2010 20:34 IST

A high-level ministerial team of Assam and Meghalaya on Saturday agreed for an independent inquiry to defuse tension in the border village of Langpih where four persons have been killed and 26 injured in group clashes and subsequent police firing.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters that the chief secretaries of both the states would meet in a day or two to work out modalities of the inquiry and suitable action will be taking accordingly.

Sarma, accompanied by Revenue Minister Bhumidhar Barman, reviewed the prevailing situation with a visiting Meghalaya delegation led by Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh.

Both sides agreed that all measures would be taken to ensure that the situation does not occur along the boundary with both Assam and Meghalaya deploying additional security forces on either side.

Kamrup (Rural) Deputy Commissioner S K Roy said four persons died and 26 others were injured in the group clash between two communities and subsequent police firing on Friday.

The police claimed that only two bodies had been recovered on Friday though unconfirmed reports had put the toll at six.

Roy said the situation has been brought under control though tension prevailed. Strict vigil was being maintained.

Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in Meghalaya, particularly in capital Shillong, with deployment of additional forces.

"Last evening itself I had issued an order directing the posting of adequate forces in Langpih area. There is an urgent need to restore confidence and instill a sense of security among our own people," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told reporters.

He said "more concrete steps" would be taken to assuage the fear in the minds of the people of the area.

"The immediate requirement is to restore normalcy in the area. If Assam Police can be present there, why shouldn't our men also be there," he said.

"Our forces' presence in the area will greatly help the people get over the prevailing feeling of fear and uncertainty," he said.

Sangma iterated that the government would adopt strong measures to ensure that "such incidents are not repeated in future".

He also emphasised the need for concerted efforts by the governments of Meghalaya and Assam to put an end to the long pending boundary issues.

"These are matters of great concern for both the states and unless serious commitment is displayed solving such vexed issues will remain remote," he said.

State Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh and DC and SP of West Khasi Hills were touring the disturbed area.