The police outpost at Barato, close to the site of last month’s Mukroh Massacre, was inaugurated today by Mowkaiaw MLA Nujorki Sungoh.
The state government had planned to set up a police unit there even before the massacre, in which Assam police had killed five Meghalaya villagers and one Assam forest guard. The outpost has assumed greater significance since then, though many locals and pressure groups want Meghalaya police to be present closer to the border with Assam in order to forestall similar incidents.
Also present at today’s inauguration was West Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner BS Sohliya, Superintendent of Police Bikram D Marak, local MDC Aiborlang Shadap and villagers.
The outpost will have jurisdiction over 21 villages and a population of more than 26,000. The 4.6 acre parcel of land for the outpost was donated by resident Profitable Dkhar.
In his speech, Marak urged the public to help the Meghalaya police personnel to fight crime in the area.
The DC, meanwhile, while lauding the Home Department for setting up the outpost, said, “We are not far from the interstate border and we know what had happened recently in Mukroh village, so we needed to set up a police outpost closer to the border.”
Local resident HT Wells Sten informed that the campaign for police presence in Barato goes back to 1994.
“Now, after 28 years, our dream has come true and this is a Christmas gift to our people,” he said.