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 August 26:  The Assam Meghalaya border between West Karbi Anglong autonomous district of Assam and Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya has remained an undecided borderline between the two states.

Low intensity skirmishes between the administration and general people, this has become the order of the day.

Few days back after similar occurrences a bureaucratic level meeting was held between the civil and police officers of both states, where in-principle it was decided that no developmental works will be taken up by authorities of either state and harmony will be maintained. However the accord proved to be short-lived last Tuesday.

According to West Karbi Anglong police, a crowd of around two hundred people from Umlaper, Ummat and Pdengtleit village of Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya crossed over to Assam side and destroyed a temporary Assam police camp. The pretext for the destruction was that they alleged Assam police personnel pestered three Meghalaya youths.

The conflict was a blow up between Assam Police personnel and residents of three villages under the Mawhati constituency of Ri Bhoi district at Umlaper village of Assam, along the Meghalaya-Assam border. No injuries were reported on either side.

assam meghalaya border crowd.
Crowd at the Assam-Meghalaya border.

Meghalaya residents say that the incident was triggered by a report that Assam police personnel allegedly thrashed three local youth at a check gate on Monday evening.

The resulting attack by Meghalaya residents destroyed the police gate, which they claimed to be established without authorization inside their state just to extract money from the people.

Member of District Council of Mawhati (Ri Bhoi district), Charles Marngar, claimed the gate was illegal. He said that the current talks on the border issue between both states required removal of security forces and central forces have already withdrawn from that place but Assam Police personnel remained stationed there.

Meanwhile, an official from Assam police asserted that the gate was set up to keep a check on smuggling activities in the area after complaints of cattle theft were received along the interstate boundary.

Ri Bhoi Superintendent of Police, Nazarius Lamare said that following the intervention of officials from both states, the Assam police have agreed to remove the gate and withdraw their forces from the area.

After the incident Superintendent of Police West Karbi Anglong district and his Ri Bhoi counterpart controlled the situation, the Meghalaya citizens still claimed that the whole border locality belongs to their state.

At the end of the day Assam Police removed the temporary camp from the disputed area to Ulukunchi village around forty kilometers from the forward area and Meghalaya police secured their position in that place.

heated discussion with assam police. image: screenshot from youtube video by east mojo
Locals in heated discussion with Assam police. Image: screenshot from East Mojo youtube video.

After the incident people of the locality did express disgruntlement over the encroachment of their land by their neighbors.

As anticipated by the Umlaper villagers of Assam, yesterday around three hundred people from Meghalaya stormed into that tiny village in a convoy of assorted vehicles with the intention of creating a commotion.

The aggressive intrusions of the Meghalaya citizens this time was met with steep resistance by the people of Assam, local Karbi, Nepali and other communities began pushing back the trespassers. To control the situation a contingent of Assam police rushed to the place of the incident and took control of the situation.

Major communal violence could be averted due to the sensible intervention of Assam police.

As of now the situation is under control and no reports of any violence have come in at the time of filing of this report.

Assam Police are maintaining round the clock vigilance along the entire border area to ward off any misadventure of neighboring states. An uneasy calm prevails in the whole area.

Earlier this month, a Joint Border Coordination meeting was held between Assam and Meghalaya  in Hamren Circuit House, West Karbi Anglong.