Clashes broke out between Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel and residents of the border area at Umsyiem near Dawki in East Khasi Hills on the late night of June 25, prompting the government of Meghalaya to initiate a department inquiry into the matter.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who is also in charge of the home ministry, reported that the confrontation resulted in injuries to four individuals, including two BSF officers and two civilians. The clash involved stone pelting and a lathi charge as tensions escalated between the two groups. In response to the agitated crowd, the BSF fired warning shots in the air to disperse them.
Tynsong stated, “We are awaiting a detailed report on the incident. However, based on the information available, the BSF seized two vehicles carrying clothes, but both drivers managed to escape before any inquiry could be conducted. Later, civilian vehicle approached the BSF camp, leading to an argument between the two parties.”
Following hours after the incident, the BSF counter claimed that the 4th Battalion deployed at Standing Patrol Base Old Umsyiem had detected movement of miscreants on the Dawki-Pynursla road near the international border on Sunday. The statement from the BSF informed that it’s personnel had also foiled another smuggling attempt by seizing clothing items worth Rs. 2,21,000 from the same border area. “After the seizure of two vehicles, some miscreants gathered near the BSF camp at Umsyiem and started pelting stones and empty beer bottles towards the troops and to calm the situation, the Post commander tried to pacify a group of miscreants but they did not stop pelting stones and bottles” said the statement. “Sensing danger to life and property, BSF personnel fired four rounds in the air and the SHO PS Pynursla was informed and accordingly, the police party reached the spot, and the situation was brought under control. No injury to a civil person was reported in the BSF firing” it said.
As per the information, people residing along the international border had expressed frustration with the BSF personnel, who were accused of preventing people from Muktapur and nearby villages from traveling to Dawki since 3 pm on June 25. These allegations led to a gathering, primarily composed of youths and members of HANM and KSU, at the BSF Camp in Umsyiem.
Heated arguments unfolded between the public and BSF personnel. As per the telephonic conversation with Umsyiem headman, it was revealed that the BSF personnel resorted to firing warning shots in the air and utilized lathi charges to disperse the crowd, resulting in injuries to two youths.
Additionally, the residents resorted to pelting stones at the BSF personnel stationed at Camp Umsyiem near Dawki. The situation remains tense as authorities investigate the clash and work towards resolving the underlying issues.