Assam Meghalaya border clash: Shillong Cherry blossom festival canceled


The 2nd Edition of the Shillong Literary Festival as part of the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival 2022 at Ward’s Lake Shillong has been canceled following the violence and killings of 4 people including an Assam forest guard in the West Karbi Anglong district of Assam close to the border with Meghalaya on Tuesday morning.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday called for an emergency along with the village headmen and religious leaders and announced to call off the 2nd edition of the Shillong Literary Festival.

Taking To Twitter CM Sangma wrote, “As a mark of respect & mourning for the deceased, the State Govt has decided to cancel all official festivals including the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival Hon’ble Home Minister, @LahkmenR has reached the spot of the incident & FIR has been registered by the @MeghalayaPolice.”

CM Sangma condemned the incident and wrote, “The Meghalaya Government strongly condemns the incident where the Assam Police & Assam Forest Guards entered Meghalaya & resorted to unprovoked firing. GoM will take all steps to ensure that justice is served & action is taken against those responsible in this inhuman act.”

According to reports, a timber-carrying truck was asked to stop at a police check post at Moikrang in West Karbi Anglong along the Assam-Meghalaya border around 3 am this morning. The truck did not stop and sped away.
Police chased the truck and managed to stop it by puncturing one of its tyre. Three people were held and brought to Jirikinding.

Speaking to the media, SP West Karbi Anglong Imdad Ali said that he later asked another team of police to bring back the seized timber-laden truck from the location.

On reaching the location the police were attacked by a large crowd armed with sharp weapons and sticks. The police had to resort to firing to save their lives in which the reported deaths took place, police sources said.

A video of the firing incident is also doing the rounds on social media.

The situation is said to be tense.

SP Ali with reinforcement teams has rushed to the location.

The dead forest guard has been identified as Bidya Singh Lekhte. Another forest guard, Abhimanu has been injured in the incident.

The incident comes amid the ongoing border talks between Assam and Meghalaya to solve the decades-long border issue between the two States.