Night curfew imposed after 5 injured in a mob attack at CM’s office in Tura

Night curfew imposed after 5 injured in a mob attack at CM's office in Tura

SHILLONG, JULY 24: A night curfew has been imposed in Tura, district headquarter of West Garo Hills on Monday after an uncontrollable mob attacked the premises where the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma was holding dialogue with leaders of the Achik Conscious Holistically Integrated Krima (ACHIK), who have been fasting for 13 days demanding the government to implement the backlog policy and declare Tura as a winter capital of the State.

At least five police personnel were also injured by the stones pelted by the unruly mob during the incident.

Sangma had also announced Rs 50,000 medical allowances to each of the injured personnel and said that all their medical expenditures would be borne by the government.

Condemning the incident, the chief minister said this is not something that Garo Hills has experienced and that there seems to be “another plan” behind the agitation.

“Whatever you have seen seems to be another plan by some individuals. As I said, even the NGOs who were in this have already said that they are not part of this and they are not aware of the individuals involved,” he said.

Sangma said a full video recording and details of people, who are instigating the mob, is available and “definitely as per law necessary action will be taken from the police side.”

The incident has also forced the district administration to immediately impose a night curfew. The situation now is under control.

The chief minister also informed that the majority of the stakeholders, civil societies and NGOs were not part of the hunger strike protest staged by the ACHIK.

“Despite that, I felt it appropriate and I’ve always believed that dialogue is important and hence I made it a point to meet them and that was what was decided,” he said.

He said when the meeting was almost over, they heard some agitation and sloganeering outside.

“I asked some people to go and speak to their people and tell them to control and not to create any kind of scene out here. But once the NGO leaders have gone outside to talk to these people, they come back to tell us that they have no idea who these people are. They have never seen them before. For the last 14 days they have been here sitting and having this fasting they didn’t see these people and today for the first time they have come and some of them even look intoxicated and not really in the correct senses in some sense.”

“After that, the NGO leaders had to come into the building and they could not leave themselves and even now they are in one of the rooms. They are not able to go as they are also worried and it seems that people who are there are people who are not part of their organizations,” he said.

Meghalaya director general of police (DGP) Dr. LR Bishnoi said over phone that the situation is now under control and most of the crowd has been dispersed.

“Shortly, night curfew in Tura town and its surroundings will be imposed, and extra security personnel numbering over a hundred have been deployed to tackle the situation,” Bishnoi said, adding, unfortunately six to seven security personnel including a woman sub inspector have been injured in the incident but they are all okay.”

The DGP said that from the captured video footage, several people who played a key role in the incident have been identified and “they will be arrested soon”.

“We really don’t know how it happened as we were peacefully talking and even agreed to withdraw the hunger strike so that we can achieve our objective peacefully,” Thomas M Marak, President of ACHIK said over phone from Tura, while adding, “Even while we were entering the meeting place, people were shouting and we tried to pacify them hoping they will see reason.”

While Marak underscored that none of the ACHIK members were involved in the mischievous act and strongly suspected that it was a third party that was responsible”, a leader of the organisation, Laben Ch Marak said, “I am saddened and unable to understand how this chaos broke out. During the last few days, we were having a peaceful hunger strike here and the people who regularly come here, even from other districts of Garo Hills, were very silent and peaceful. The sloganeering and stone pelting was started by anti-social elements whom we have never seen before.”


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