Kin of Assam forest guard, killed in border violence, to get Rs 14 lakh,

SHILLONG: The Assam government would offer Rs 14 lakh as financial compensation, and salary till his retirement age and also a government job to the family members of Bidyasing Lekhte, the Assam forest guard killed along the Assam-Meghalaya border in the November 22 violence and shooting in which five Meghalaya citizens were also killed, officials said on Sunday.

Jogen Mohan, the minister for revenue, disaster management, and hills area development in Assam, and Tuliram Ronghang, the chief executive member of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), paid a visit to Lekhte's home and announced Rs 14 lakh as monetary compensation and salary up until his retirement age, as well as a government job for the victim's wife.

According to an official quoting the Assam Minister, the Forest Department would give Lekhte's family Rs. 4 lakh, KAAC Rs. 5 lakh, and the Assam government had previously committed to provide Rs. 5 lakh to each of the families of the other six victims.

The Minister informed the family that Lekhte's wife would continue to be paid until the deceased forest guard reached retirement age.

While this is going on, tension continues to exist in the Mukroh hamlet in the West Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya and in other locations along the Assam-Meghalaya border, necessitating the deployment of additional security troops in these sensitive locations by both neighbouring states.

On November 22, near Mukroh village, the Assam Police and forest guards stopped a truck carrying lumber. After this, a huge group of villagers arrived and surrounded the police and forest guards, which prompted the Assam Police to open fire.

The Assam government has also asked the Center to have the CBI conduct an investigation into the event.
Saket Gokhale, the national spokesman for the Trinamool Congress, tweeted on Sunday in response to the Union Home Minister's remarks regarding the violence along the Assam-Meghalaya border: "Amit Shah, the home minister, is silent over the tragedy in the village of Mukroh. They are quite clear about their priorities! Do the lives of people in Meghalaya not matter to you, we enquire? The two-engine government has failed yet again." The Meghalaya Pradesh Congress called for the resignation of Chief Minister Sangma and his cabinet in order to make room for a new administration that would protect the state's residents, particularly those who lived close to the Assam interstate boundary.

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