Shillong/Guwahati (The Hawk): An official said that a Meghalaya cabinet delegation would soon meet with Union Home Minister Amit Shah to demand a thorough investigation into Tuesday's shooting by the Assam Police in the West Jaintia Hills district that killed five Meghalayan civilians and an Assam forest guard by the NIA or the CBI.
An official spokeswoman announced that the Meghalaya government would also establish a judicial panel in accordance with the Commissions of Enquiry Act of 1952 to investigate all facets of the firing incident.
He claimed that on Tuesday night, the Meghalaya cabinet convened under the leadership of Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and went over the incident that occurred in West Jaintia Hills' Mukroh hamlet in great detail.
Lahkmen Rymbui, the minister of the interior, attended the scene of the accident right away and reported back.
According to the spokesman, the cabinet decided to cancel all festivals in all of Meghalaya and postpone all government programmes until November 30 as a gesture of respect to those who died in the event.
The Meghalaya cabinet team will meet with the National Human Rights Commission while in Delhi to meet with the Union Home Minister, and a thorough report will be given to the commission.
The government of Meghalaya, according to the spokesman, would form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the direction of the Deputy Inspector General, Eastern Range, to look into the shooting incident on Tuesday.
"The SIT will begin conducting the investigation while we make an application to the Government of India for a central body to take over the probe. The probe will be given to them once the Government of India has granted the appeal "It was stated in a statement.
On Wednesday, the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and a few Cabinet Ministers would travel to Mukroh hamlet to meet with the bereaved family and present ex-gratia payments of Rs 5 lakh to each of the families' next of kin.
Speaking to the media, Sangma claimed that his Assam counterpart, Himanta Biswa Sarma, had informed him over the phone that the West Karbi Anglong superintendent of police has been transferred, along with the officer in charge of the Zirikinding Police Station (in Assam) and the Forest Range Protection Officer in charge of the area who were involved in the incident.
According to Sangma's report on Sarma, "The Assam government would be taking required actions to investigate the matter in consultation with the Meghalaya government."
The Assam government has pledged to work with Meghalaya on any demands the state makes of the federal government in order to see that justice is done and those who commit crimes are punished, according to the Meghalaya Chief Minister.
The five Meghalayan people were killed earlier on Tuesday afternoon when Assam Police and forest guards approached Mukroh hamlet in West Jaintia Hills and used "unprovoked" gunfire.
In the shooting, a forest guard from Assam also perished.
When a vehicle carrying timber was stopped by the Assam Police and forest guards in Mukroh village, many residents of the area arrived to the scene and encircled the police, prompting the latter to open fire.
(Inputs from Agencies)