khatkhati police check post.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Diphu July 11: The government of Assam recently removed the Khatkhati police check gate. The authorities removed it, along with most other check and toll gates throughout the state.

The government may have thought it was a good idea to free up trade along the road, but there were much more important reasons to keep the gate in place that they didn’t think about.

This police check gate crossed the number 1 Asian highway (national highway 39 – also known as AH1Map of Khatkhati, a few km north of Dimapur.), which connects Myanmar to Nagaland and Manipur. As well as carrying legitimate trade, it is the route through which most illicit drugs, arms, and vehicles are smuggled through Assam.

Locals say that one species of timber is smuggled from India to south China through this road. Insurgents also use the road and it is apparently the principal thoroughfare the insurgents use to sneak into India after receiving training in foreign nations. The insurgents often bring arms and ammunition with them.

Khatkhati police check post.

Until it was removed, after the change of government, this checkpoint was the only barrier at the entry point to Assam. Officials at this border check post seized thousands of stolen vehicles, tonnes of drugs, many Rhino horns and an uncountable number of weapons.

 

The sudden government action of abolishing the Khatkhati police check gate has almost instantaneously boosted crime throughout the region. Although there are no official records yet, it is suspected that Dimapur city, in Nagaland will soon suffer from an influx of insurgents. Insurgents from Assam often take shelter there, and cause problems for the Nagaland government.

Car thieves use this road to transport stolen vehicles into Nagaland. It is the route to move vehicles stolen from throughout the entire nation. In addition, arms and ammunition obtained from European countries and China, destined for Naxals and North Eeast state militant organizations, pass along this road.

Now, local social and students organizations including Assam Jatyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parisad, Bokajan United are asking the new government of Assam to reestablish the police check gate in Khatkhati.

The organizations’ leaders have urged both the Assam Government and Assam police to re-install the gate without delay.

They say this gate has been an alert sentinel at the state border, which has stood as the vanguard of the nation.

Editor’s Note: Khatkhati is alternately written or pronounced Khatkhoti or Khotkhoti.

Map of Khatkhati, a few km north of Dimapur.