Injured labourers seek justice from govt

Man who died supported 3 siblings, partly-blind father

SHILLONG, Feb 27: The labourers from Assam who were assaulted in South West Khasi Hills on February 24 have sought justice from the Meghalaya government, especially for one of them who died in the incident.
Masked men had attacked the labourers, engaged in the construction of a girls’ hostel in St Xavier’s College at Shait-Shait Umoid village, while they were sleeping in a room within the complex.
Raju Mondal, 20, succumbed to his injuries.
All were from the same village in Assam’s South Salmara-Mankachar district.
“We request the Meghalaya government to do justice with us for whatever has happened,” Aminul Islam, one of the labourers who escaped the brutal attack with injuries said on Saturday.
He said his only concern now is the future of the members of his friend Raju’s family who were dependent on him for survival. Raju was buried on Friday in his village.
“He left behind his father, who is blind in one eye, and two small sisters. He was also supporting his brother, a college student,” the 35-year-old Islam said.
Stating that whatever happened with them was wrong and they would pray it never happens with anybody again, Islam recalled that fateful incident.
“We had slept by 9.30 pm after dinner. Sometime later, 20-25 people suddenly broke the door, entered our room and started assaulting us. They rained sticks and daos on us without uttering a word,” he said.
Islam said they had no idea why they were attacked, and no one had told them to either stop working or leave. “We did not go there on our own. We were taken there because of our expertise and after obtaining permission from the authorities in Shillong,” he added.
Islam said the Meghalaya police had recorded their statement but all they could say was that they were poor and had gone to Meghalaya for work.
Apart from Islam, Abul Mondal (29), Bahadur Sheikh (32), Abdul Bari (42), Shahinoor Alom (21), Yeasin Mondal (45) and Amir Hussain (24) were injured in the attack.
The attack on the labourers has drawn criticisms from different church bodies, political parties and civil society groups who have urged the state government to take the strictest of action against the culprits involved in the crime.

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