Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday said that his government would seek a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into Wednesday’s attack inside the Behali reserved forest along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border that left 10 persons dead and injured eight.
The Assam government suspects that trouble began when volunteers of the Arunachal Agrasan Pratirodh Samiti — an organisation formed to resist alleged encroachment of land in the reserved forest by residents of Arunachal Pradesh — moved into the Behali reserved forest, which is claimed by both the States. According to it, about 100 armed miscreants from Papumpare district of Arunachal Pradesh, which borders Assam’s Sonitpur district, mounted the attack on Wednesday and fired indiscriminately on a group of about 300 people.
“Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also spoke to Arunachal Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and Mr. Tuki has assured full cooperation by his government to nab the culprits. Mr. Tuki, condemning the gruesome incident, said this would not affect the cordial relation between the two neighbouring States,” stated an official release.
Assam, which has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 6 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased, also advised Arunachal Pradesh to restrict the movement of vehicles coming from the State for a day or two in view of tension in the border areas, where people blocked roads in protest against Wednesday’s incident. “We are in touch with Arunachal government. Operations are on to identify and nab the culprits. We have advised Arunachal Pradesh to be extra vigilant on movement of their vehicles through Assam and restrict the vehicular movement at least for a day or two till the situation subsides,” Assam Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi told The Hindu.