Ten people have been killed and eight injured in a deadly dispute over land in Assam in north-eastern India.

The clash that took place on Wednesday near the Behali Reserve Forest was over land claimed by locals living in Assam and the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh.

“People from Arunachal attacked a village in our state. We are sending additional forces”, Sanjukta Prashor, an Assam police official, told reporters.  

According to reports, those killed and injured were mostly members of the Arunachal Agrashan Pratirudh Committee, a Left-wing group that works at protecting Assamese territory by Arunachal Pradesh people. The group had been camping in the area for the past two months to safeguard the area.

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Atuwa Munda, Assam Parliamentary Secretary (home) said the perpetrators would not be spared. “We will do whatever is necessary for the protection of our land and people”, reported The Telegraph newspaper.

Arunachal Pradesh was declared a separate state in 1987. Since then, the state has had a boundary dispute with neighbouring state of Assam.

Eight districts of Assam including Baksa, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Tinsukia and Udalguri share the border with Arunachal Pradesh.

Assam forest department officials had evicted encroachers from Arunachal Pradesh in December and earlier in January this year. Following the incidents, both states had agreed to maintain status quo until a verdict on the inter-state boundary issue was delivered by India’s apex Supreme Court.  

Source: Al Jazeera