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Steps taken to maintain status quo at Langpih: Meghalaya CM
STAFF CORRESPONDENT
 SHILLONG, Feb 15 - Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today said that steps have been taken to maintain status quo in disputed areas like Langpih where a dispute broke out between residents of Meghalaya and the Assam Police on Thursday.

Sangma pointed out that the trouble began after the Assam Police objected to the electrification works carried out by the people of the area. Langpih is a disputed area as it is claimed by both Assam and Meghalaya.

The Chief Minister said that officials from Assam objected to the electrification works in the area and started pulling down the electric lines. “While the lines were being pulled down, a lot of people came out and objected. There were some arguments and some pelting of stones took place,” he said.

Sangma added that as per the inputs he had received, after the stone pelting, Assam Police personnel resorted to a lathicharge and arrested two people from Meghalaya.

“The State Government immediately intervened and the DGP’s office and the Additional SP of the West Khasi Hills district raised the issue with their Assam counterparts and it was assured that the two arrested people would be released,” the Chief Minister said.

Sangma said steps are being taken to ensure that status quo is maintained in these areas, adding that such incidents should not recur in the interest of peace.

Meanwhile, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Mawshynrut Civil Sub-Division, West Khasi Hills district, today promulgated Section 144 of the CrPC at Langpih and adjoining areas bordering Assam. The order prohibits carrying of illegal arms and other lethal weapons by any individual or groups, and unlawful assembly of more than five persons. “Anyone found violating the above order shall be prosecuted as per relevant Acts and law,” the order stated.

PTI adds: Jogendra Barman, Officer-in-Charge of Boko police station in Kamrup district of Assam, said labourers working under a contractor were illegally engaged in electrification work at Lumpi claiming that the area belonged to Meghalaya.

People of Lumpi tried to stop the workers who then attacked the locals, Barman said.

A police team reached the spot on being informed but unidentified people from Meghalaya pelted stones at them injuring one assistant-sub-inspector of police and four constables, the OC said.

DSP Kalyan Pathak and Barman himself then went there with more personnel and controlled the situation after resorting to a lathi charge, Barman said adding that two labourers were detained for interrogation from the spot where policemen and CRPF personnel were deployed.

In 2010, four Khasi villagers were killed and eight others were injured in police firing in disputed Langpih.

Assam and Meghalaya have at least 12 areas of differences along the nearly 900 km inter-State border.

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