GUWAHATI/JORHAT: Mariani MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi had a providential escape on Thursday when miscreants from the Nagaland side opened fire on a team led by him along the Assam-Nagaland border.
Following reports of encroachment of Assam land in the Dessoi Valley Reserve Forest by miscreants from Nagaland, the Congress MLA went to the spot to take stock of the situation around 2.30 pm on Thursday. He was accompanied by villagers and security personnel.
According to sources, when the MLA and the villagers were around 200 metres away from reaching the spot, miscreants from the Nagaland side opened fire on them. The security personnel accompanying the MLA also fired around 15 rounds in retaliation. However, there is no report of casualty on either of the two sides.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma termed the incident unfortunate that may jeopardize the relations between the two neighbouring states. He directed Special DGP GP Singh to rush to the site and conduct an inquiry.
Kurmi said, "As the legislator of Mariani where the encroachment has taken place, I must go and see the spot.
"On Assam soil, I have been shot at by a group of armed Nagaland villagers, and I had to run away."
Kurmi further appealed to the Assam government to take immediate steps to evict the encroachers who had established a village after cutting down and burning a large portion of the Dessoi Valley Reserve forest and planting betel nut and banana trees.
A resident said that three reporters were badly injured while fleeing and one had to be brought by the security personnel from the New Sonowal BOP.
"After we fled three policemen from the BOP covered our backs and retaliated," the villager said. Additional SP Mrinmoy Goswami and DSP Bibhas Das visited the spot after the firing.
Jorhat Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain said that there was a slight imbroglio near New Sonowal BOP in Mariani, but things have normalized. "Police from both sides are monitoring the situation. We will soon have discussions with our Mokokchung counterparts," the ASP said.