Meghalaya organisation distributes bows, arrows to border residents; leader booked

Shillong: Dohtdong booked under various sections of IPC, including for attempting to cause communal violence

BY | Wednesday, 5 July, 2023

An organisation in Meghalaya on Tuesday claimed to have distributed traditional weapons among the residents of Mukroh area of West Jaintia Hills amidst the ongoing talks to resolve interstate border issues between the state and Assam, prompting the police to book its leader.

Hynniewtrep National Youth Movement (HNYM) leader Louis Dohtdong told the police on being summoned during the day that the organisation has distributed bows and arrows among the people of Mukroh in the disputed block I area to protect themselves from Karbi militants.

“We distributed 100 bows and 1000 arrows among the people in the villages along the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border last year (2022) to protect them from aggressions by Karbi militants,” Dohtdong later told reporters.

Bows and arrows are traditional weapons of the Khasi tribe and all households of its people have these indigenous weapons as a measure of safety, he said.

Dohtdong was quick to clarify that HNYM did not encourage the people of the interstate area to use guns but asked them to use the bows and arrows in case of emergency and when attacked. “If the state government fails to protect the people at the border area, it is our bounden duty to protect our people,” he said.

He was booked under various sections of the IPC, including for attempting to cause communal violence. His statement was also recorded.

Dohtdong had made public his intention to arm people of violence-hit Mukroh with bows and arrows soon after six people were shot dead by Assam Police in November last year and the police had registered a suo moto case was registered against him by Meghalaya police.

Meghalaya and Assam are in advanced stages of resolving their differences in six areas, including villages in Langpih area of West Khasi Hills district, Block II in Ri-Bhoi district and Block I of Jaintia Hills region.

Chief Ministers Conrad K Sangma and Himanta Biswa Sarma met in Guwahati in May and June and regional committees met here to take forward the talks.

Both the states signed an MoU in March last year to resolve their differences in western Garo Hills region and Khanapara area of Ri-Bhoi district.

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