GUWAHATI, Jan 29 � Ten persons were killed and eight others received bullet injuries when encroachers from Arunachal Pradesh opened fire with hand-made weapons in Behali Reserve Forest in Sonitpur district today.
However, as the incident took place in an interior place, the exact details are awaited.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has directed the Chief Secretary, ADGP (Law-and-Order) and Sonitpur SP to closely monitor the situation in Behali, official sources said.
The Behali Reserve Forest was witnessing trouble for some time as frequent clashes took place in the area between encroachers from Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and though major eviction drives were launched by he administration in November and December, the encroachers managed to settle there again.
IGP, Law and Order, SN Singh confirmed the death of 10 persons and said that the injured have been shifted to the hospital.
Official sources said that the trouble started when some people from Arunachal Pradesh encroached upon the Behali Reserve Forest last year and to thwart the move, a few leaders of a political party encouraged locals to encroach upon the forest area.
Our Biswanath Chariali Correspondent adds: The incident occured at an interior place near Chauldhoa in the Behali Reserve Forest at around 3.30 pm today.
According to sources, around 100 miscreants, armed with guns and other lethal weapons, attacked the villagers, who have been camping there to protect those areas from further encroachment, and started indiscriminate firing at them killing those villagers on the spot.
It is feared that the toll may go up further.
Meanwhile, higher civil police and forest officials along with police forces have rushed to the spot.