Government assures Judicial inquiry into firing incident in North Garo Hills

Shillong, Mar 7: The Meghalaya government today accepted the demand of opposition legislators to constitute a judicial inquiry into the police firing at Resu-Khaldang in North Garo Hills district.

 Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma accepted to have a judicial probe after Opposition MLAs of the National People’s Party (NPP), Nihim D. Shira and James K. Sangma raised the demand in Assembly which was also supported by senior Congress MLA, Salseng C. Marak.

Nihim and James demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident and the government should pay compensation to the victims, as well as take action against police personnel involved in the firing.

They also condemned the incident, and said that civilians were victimized by police in the operation against militants. James questioned police for firing on civilians when there was no action from their side.

“This is a clear case of trigger-happy police,” James alleged.

 Salseng, the Congress MLA from Resubelpara and former Chief Minister, said that the victims were small traders and had gone to Krishnai in Assam to dropping bananas.

Salseng also said that judicial inquiry should be constituted, and the government should extend financial assistance to the victims.

 The Chief Minister said the government would constitute a judicial inquiry into the incident and assistance would be extended to the injured persons.

Sangma said that what required at present was to take measures to normalise the situation, and appealed to the people to maintain calm.

Home Minister, H.D.R Lyngdoh who made a sou moto statement in the Assembly said that that one Bolero pickup truck coming from Khaldang side at 10.30 pm on Monday night refused to stop at three different police check points after the checking party signaled the vehicle to stop.

Lyngdoh said that checking of vehicles was conducted at Resu-Khaldang based on inputs about movement of militant, William Sangma responsible for various kidnappings and other crimes in Meghalaya and Assam.

 Lyngdoh said that police fired upon, which left three persons injured, Milseng Sangma (35), Tubal Sangma (29), and Janrak Sangma (27) of Resubelpara area.

The injured persons were taken to International Hospital, Guwahati for proper treatment and admitted in ICU. He said that hospital authorities had informed that the injured persons were in stable condition.

Lyngdoh said that after the injured persons were sent to Guwahati at around 11.30 pm, the crowd who gathered at Resubelpara CHC turned violent, and two light motor vehicles of the police were broken and burnt down. At midnight, a mob moved towards Resubelpara police station and the office of superintendent of police.

As the forces were overpowered, the police station building and two barracks were ransacked, and a mini truck in the police station was burnt down.

The Home Minister appealed to all sections of people to make combined efforts to maintain peace while investigation is on, and sought support of legislators to deal with challenges posed to the internal security by militancy and insurgency so that peace and normalcy is restored in the state. 

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