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Firing along Assam-Arunachal border, 2 dead, 3 missing

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Two persons died and three others went missing after alleged firing along the Arunachal Pradesh border in Assam’s Dhemaji district on Monday (June 5), police said.

Locals had arranged a plantation drive at the inter-state border area on the occasion of World Environment Day, Superintendent of Police (SP) Ranjan Bhuyan said.

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Seven villagers had gone in advance to make arrangements in the morning. They allegedly came under firing, in which one person died on the spot, he said.

Three others sustained bullet injuries and were taken to the Dhemaji Civil Hospital by locals, where one person died, he added.

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Three others went missing and police were looking for them, Bhuyan said.

“Our team rushed to the spot on receiving the information. We are investigating the incident,” he said.

Locals alleged the involvement of miscreants from Arunachal Pradesh as there was a dispute over the inter-state boundary in the area.

Assam and Arunachal Pradesh share an 804-km-long border, and both sides have been engaging in discussions to resolve the boundary disputes.

An MoU was signed by Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and Arunachal CM Pema Khandu on April 20 in New Delhi, in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, to resolve the border row.

In July last year, the two chief ministers signed the Namsai Declaration setting in motion the efforts to solve the boundary disputes.

Arunachal Pradesh, which was made a Union Territory in 1972, claims that several forested tracts in the plains that had traditionally belonged to the hill tribal chiefs and communities were unilaterally transferred to Assam.

After Arunachal Pradesh achieved statehood in 1987, a tripartite committee was appointed which recommended that certain territories be transferred from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh. Assam contested this and the matter has been in the Supreme Court.

Assam’s Education Minister Ranoj Pegu condemned the incident. “I strongly condemn the act of violence at the Panbari area of the Asam-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. District Admin and @DhemajiPolice are on the spot. @himantabiswa @PradanBaruah (sic),” he tweeted.

“Very sad to share that Monitu Gogoi has succumbed to his injuries,” he added.

(With agency inputs)

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