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Shillong, May 15 (IANS) Six NGOs Saturday called for a 24-hour Meghalaya shutdown May 18, even as Chief Minister Mukul Sangma called an all-party meeting May 17 to discuss the situation in the state after the police firing at the disputed Langpih village in which four people were killed.'The chief Minister has called a cabinet meeting Monday which will be followed by an all-party meeting and subsequently a meeting with the NGOs to discuss Friday's incident at Langpih,' Deputy Chief Minister Bindo M. Lanong, who is in-charge of law and order, told IANS.Sangma said he has taken up the matter with union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and requested him to set up an independent inquiry into the firing incident. He also asked the home minister to post a neutral force in the area, which lies on Meghalaya-Assam border.In the meantime, the Meghalaya and Assam police would conduct a joint patrol in the area.State Director General of Police S.B. Kakati confirmed that four people were killed in the firing by the Assam Police.'Four people are confirmed dead and we are yet to get the exact details about those injured in the incident,' Kakati told IANS.State Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh who rushed to the incident site announced ex-gratia payment of Rs.1 lakh for the next of kin of each of the victims.'I also met Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam minister) and expressed our concerns on the incident. I have ask him to institute an inquiry and bring those people involved in the firing to book,' Lyngdoh said.On Friday, four people were killed and several others were injured in the firing by Assam Police personnel at Langpih village. The firing began after a clash between tribal Khasis and Garos with Nepali nationals at a weekly market.Protesting the 'unprovoked firing' by the Assam police personnel, the powerful Khasi Students' Union (KSU) along with five social organisations called for 24-hour shutdown in the Khasi-Jaintia dominated areas in Eastern Meghalaya.'The bandh will come into effect from 5 a.m. May 18 to 5 a.m. of May 19 in protest against the firing at Langpih on innocent tribal Khasi villagers,' KSU President Samuel B. Jyrwa told reporters.Blaming the Meghalaya government for Friday's incident, the social organisations which held a joint meeting at KSU office, threatened to intensify their agitation if the government fails to set up a police station at Langpih.'Had the government set up a police station at Langpih this tragic incident would have not happened,' Jyrwa said, while demanding that the government should resolve all border disputes with Assam.Meanwhile, the organisations will also write to the National Human Rights Commission and Union Ministry of Home Affairs on the gross violation of human rights committed by the Assam police.'We will urge upon the NHRC to send a team to Langpih to probe into the unprovoked firing incident,' the KSU president said.Langpih village, which is about 60 km from Guwahati in Assam and 140 km from Shillong, has been a bone of contention between Assam and Meghalaya.In fact, the area often hit headlines after the Assam government laid the cornerstone for a health centre in July 2008.In 1985, the two state governments entrusted former chief justice of India Y.V. Chandrachud to head a committee of experts on the constitutional aspects of the boundary demarcation between the two states.Assam claims Langpih based on the recommendations of the Chandrachud Committee report. Meghalaya rejected the report.A boundary committee headed by the chief secretaries of both states has also been formed to amicably resolve the issue.
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