Injured victim calls for judicial probe into assault

Amita tried to protect Agnes; police-coal mafia nexus alleged

SHILLONG: Amita Sangma, who was assaulted along with Agnes Kharshiing for probing illegal coal mining on Thursday, said a judicial or CBI probe into illegal coal mining activities in the state should be initiated at the earliest.
At the NEIGRIHMS hospital bed on Friday, Amita narrated the incident of assault by a group of people.
She alleged that a high-level probe is desired since police may have nexus with local coal mine owners which resulted in the unusual gathering of the crowd which took on them.
Amita and Agnes had first visited Ladrymbai police station followed by Sohshrieh under Khliehriat, East Jaintia Hills, where illegal transportation of coal was in full swing.
This is what Amita added: “We stopped our vehicle at Sohshrieh after detecting illegal transportation of coal and while Agnes was taking photographs, a lady in a white gypsy appeared along with her driver. She blocked our vehicle and soon a crowd of 30-40 gathered and started attacking us. The crowd dragged us out of our vehicle and they first targeted Agnes, I pleaded with them that they should not resort to attacks. They knew Agnes and she too knew some of them. I protected Agnes but later, the crowd became aggressive. Agnes wanted them not to obstruct the way. But they snatched away the camera and mobile phone of Agnes. I called up a police woman from intelligence wing of the police in Shillong for help. Suddenly, they snatched away by phone too. The assault became heavy on us and Agnes fell in a drain and she was unconscious. I also fell near Agnes but I was conscious. Later, I pretended to be dead so that the crowd can disperse. I also saw the crowd taking  away the driver. Later, when there was no one present, I managed to reach the main road and waited for anyone to help. There was a shop nearby and the people gathered there knew what happened and who were the culprits. I sought for help from some people who were in their vehicles, but in vain. Later, two vehicles of the police passed through but there was no help coming. Later, a police gypsy came and stopped nearby and I asked the police to first bring back Agnes from the nearby interior place where she was lying.”
Reiterating that it was the handiwork of the local coal mine owners and dealers, Amita said the crowd wanted to kill them saying they had deprived them of their livelihood by constantly monitoring the coal mining activities and the main target was Agnes.
“We had detected five coal-laden trucks in Mawiong on November 7 and from there we got information that there was illegal transportation of coal from Sohshrieh and we wanted to follow up the matter,” she said.
According to Amita, the lady who came in a white gypsy and blocked their way is known to the police.
“I feel that the culprits are known to the police and hence there should be immediate action against them,” she added.

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