Diphu December 1 2022: In a sequel to the firing incident at the Jaintia Hamlet of Mukhroh located at the border between the states of Meghalaya and Assam, the Border Security Force is being deployed on the side of Assam’s Hamren District.
The incident on 21st November took the lives of six personnel one of whom belonged to personnel of Assam Home Guards and later developed into a full-fledged outrage in the capital city of Meghalaya popularly known as the Scotland of the East.
Fortunately the situation had come to normal since yesterday with the affected areas market at Zirikendeng and Mawkoilum held on Thursdays and Fridays going on without hassles.
The incident, though ostensibly blamed at the regular timber smuggling resorted to by the people from the nearby Jaintia Hills; it is a sordid and sad saga.
This is the result of overuse of natural resources in an ecologically sensitive hills ecosystem/land use. The plundering of natural resources like the subsurface coal and limestone rendered the paddy fields unproductive and the sources of water laced with acidic components.
The trees were gone in unscientific and unregulated harvesting and the streams and rivers went dry. The losses to soil became too apparent to be controlled.
Out of all proportion this happened, in the quest of money they would earn from a market demand that was not that of the local denizens of the hills.
The Chief Minister of Meghalaya faces his state elections in the month of February next year and he terms the incident an episode of the continuation of the fifty years long boundary issue with the neighboring state of Meghalaya in one of his rhetoric.
In response, it is the Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma who terms it a localized incident. However, the deployment of the Border Security Force, used against external aggression or policing of the international boundaries of India, seems to indicate serious implications.
It aims at more provocation than a solution to the presence of the artificial line boundary in the Block I and Block II areas.
These two areas, covering over 1500 sq kilometers were taken off from the Jaintia Hills subdivision in 1951, far before the state of Meghalaya was born, to form the Mikir Hills Subdivision of the United North Cachar and Mikir Hills district in 1951, 13th April.
If the eyeball to eyeball confrontations bring the required justice and peace in the state of Assam, the state troubled with internal boundaries syndrome, it is anybody’s guess.