Police station, vehicles set on fire
TURA: A mob set ablaze a police station in Resubelpara in North Garo Hills late on Monday night after three persons were injured when security forces opened fire on a vehicle whose driver allegedly refused to halt at a check point.
The protesters also destroyed seven vehicles, most of which belonged to the police department, and two service weapons.
The violence was triggered by the police firing around 10.30pm. According to district police chief D.P Marak, security forces had set up several check points in the district to intercept militant William Sangma of the United A’chik National Front. Sangma gave police a slip two days ago and is on the run.
“Police teams at a three tier security check point on the Khaldang Road signalled a vehicle coming towards Resubelpara to stop around 10:30 pm but the driver did not heed the signal and instead drove through. When it refused to halt at the third and last security tier, police were compelled to open fire to stop it,” said the superintendent of police.
The protesters, however, accused the police of being ‘trigger happy’ and not giving any warning before opening fire.
The vehicle was returning from Krishnai after transporting areca nut. The driver, Milseng T Sangma (35), was critically injured in the firing. Two among the occupants who were small-time traders, Janrok T. Sangma (26) and Dubal T. Sangma (24), were also injured. All the three are admitted at International Hospital in Guwahati.
As the word soon spread of the firing, a mob attacked a police team outside the Resubelpara hospital where the injured were first taken to and set on fire two vehicles.
The protesters then targeted the police station close to the offices of the deputy commissioner and the SP at Dekachang. They set on fire the station and two temporary barracks that housed commandos.
The main office room of the police station was set ablaze destroying important documents and case files. Rescue teams of the force managed to move out the weapons from the armoury. However, they lost one self-loading rifle and a 9 mm pistol to the fire.
The mob went berserk and did not spare any vehicle in the police station compound. A mini truck, a car and two motorcycles were destroyed in the fire. A fire brigade tanker that was rushed to the scene was also targeted.
Additional security forces were rushed in from Tura and Williamnagar. The State police headquarters dispatched a senior official to monitor the situation.
Meanwhile, the driver had a surgery on Tuesday morning to remove the bullet. The other two are said to be out of danger.