Two persons were killed and two others injured in northeastern Assam’s Dhemaji district on Monday when unidentified assailants, allegedly from Arunachal Pradesh, fired at them.
The incident happened at Panbari near the interstate boundary when the victims, identified as Boga Chutia and Monitu Gogoi, were planting saplings. This triggered protests in the area with the local people demanding action against the culprits.
“I strongly condemn the act of violence at the Panbari area of the Assam-Arunachal border in Dhemaji, where one person named Boga Chutia of Borbila Chutiakari village of my constituency has been killed, and 3 persons - Monitu Gogoi, Puspa Gogoi and Akoni Gohain of Milonpur village have been injured,” Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu tweeted.
In another tweet, he said Monitu Gogoi succumbed to his injuries.
Assam’s Director-General of Police, Gyanendra Pratap Singh said senior police officials were on ground zero and efforts were on to nab the culprits.
Assam’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the police would probe the case and take necessary action. “We have not yet been able to demarcate the (interstate) boundary in different areas of Dhemaji district. The neighbouring State does not attack us, but some people there do it for the greed of land,” he said.
His Arunachal Pradesh counterpart Pema Khandu said those responsible for the crime would not be spared. “It is an unfortunate incident. As soon as I heard about it, I called up our local MLA and the DC (Deputy Commissioner) and instructed them to visit the site and talk to the people,” he said.
Mr. Khandu said the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary has been asked to be in touch with his Assam counterpart for both governments to ensure the incident does not flare up.
“We (both States) formed committees and by and large, resolved everything. The committees were given additional six months to demarcate the border wherever it was not demarcated. We said if there are issues, they should report it to their respective DCs but sadly, this incident occurred. We will investigate it and punish the culprits,” Mr Khandu said.
On April 20, Dr. Sarma and Mr. Khandu signed a memorandum of understanding in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to resolve a 50-year-old border dispute between the two States.