Unidentified miscreants lobbed a petrol bomb at the residence of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma after violence broke out over the death of a former rebel leader, resulting in a two-day curfew in Shillong. No one was hurt in the incident as the house was vacant. The Chief Minister stays at his official residence in upper Shillong area.
A vehicle from Assam was also attacked in Shillong, seriously injuring the driver. Several incidents of stone pelting were also reported from parts of the city.
A top officer of Assam police had urged the people from the state not to travel to Shillong till curfew continues. “Curfew has been imposed in Shillong due to Law & Order issues. People from Assam are advised not to travel to Shillong till curfew continues,” GP Singh, special DGP, Assam Police tweeted.
Earlier, state home minister Lahkmen Rymbui resigned, alleging in his resignation letter that former rebel leader Cherishstarfield Thangkhiew was “killed following the raid of police at his residence exceeding the lawful tenets of the law”.
The state Home Minister, in his resignation letter to the Chief Minister, also proposed a judicial enquiry into the matter, adding, “I would like to request you to relieve the Home (Police) Department from me with immediate effect. This will facilitate free and fair enquiry taken by the government to bring out the truth of the incident.”
An uneasy calm has been witnessed in parts of Shillong after the death of the former rebel leader whose family has termed his death a “cold-blooded murder by the police”.
Hundreds of people, in black clothes and carrying black flags, took part in Thangkhiew’s funeral procession on Sunday.
Several were seen lining up the streets in Shillong with black flags, condemning the police and the state government over the death of Thangkhiew. Many were also seen standing on the terrace of their houses holding placards.
A police vehicle of the Mawkynroh Police Outpost was also set ablaze by unidentified men in Jaiaw locality in Shillong this afternoon. Police personnel aboard the vehicle, including the officer in-charge of the outpost, escaped the spot unhurt.
According to reports, the men seized the vehicle with weapons belonging to the police and took it for a ride before setting it on fire.
The curfew in Shillong will be in place till 5 am on Tuesday, said the government.
On Saturday, Meghalaya Chief minister Conrad Sangma had said that the state government would order a magisterial probe into the death of the former leader of the insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council.
According to the police, they fired at Thangkhiew after he attacked them with a knife in an attempt to escape. house was raided on Thursday night based on evidence that he was involved in a blast at Laitumkhrah.
“When the police team tried to enter his (Thangkhiew’s) house, he attacked the team with a knife in an attempt to escape. The police team exerting the right to defend fired a single round, which hit him,” the police said in a statement.