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Groups condemn killings, ask Conrad & Rymbui to resign

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SHILLONG, Nov 22: The killing of five Meghalaya citizens by Assam police and forest guard personnel at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills on Tuesday has evoked widespread condemnation from pressure groups and civil society organisations.
Besides demanding appropriate action against the Assam security personnel, the groups have also sought CBI or NIA probe into the incident and asked Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui to resign for their failure to protect the lives of innocent citizens.
The KSU will observe Wednesday as “black flag day” throughout Khasi and Jaintia Hills in protest against the barbaric killings. The FKJGP has extended support to the black flag day call of the KSU.
KSU general secretary Donald V Thabah said they will be announcing other agitations in due course and said that the main reason behind the atrocities on the Khasi population residing in the border villages is the failure of the government to ensure their safety and security.
According to him, Assam police, Karbi militant groups and non-indigenous border population have been taking undue advantage of the situation from time to time.
He made it clear that any attempt to resolve the interstate border dispute with Assam should be through direct engagement and involvement of the Centre.
The KSU demanded that all Assam police outposts or branch offices of government departments of Assam located in Khasi villages along the border should be immediately removed.
Thabah also demanded stringent action against those who involved in the firing.
“The government should set up police stations in all the villages under the areas of differences,” he said, recalling that the KSU’s demand for police outposts at Barato/Mukroh has been pending for long.
“The government should deploy police personnel to protect the villagers of Mukroh and chase away Assam police from that area,” he added.
FKJGP general secretary Eldie N Lyngdoh asked the state government to deploy police to arrest those responsible for the death of five innocent people.
“If the police can arrest members of pressure groups during the late hours like militants then the government can also send the police to arrest these murderers during the night hours,” he said.
The Catholic faithful of the Shillong Archdiocese condemned the merciless and barbarous killing of innocent villagers of Mukroh. A prayer service will be held in the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Laitumkhrah, at 5 pm on Wednesday, to pray for the repose of the departed souls and for peace and harmony in the state.
“The Church has always been in the forefront in promoting peace and harmony and for a peaceful co-existence amongst the various communities. Violence in any form has no place in a civilized society. Therefore, the Catholic faithful of the Shillong Archdiocese appeals to all the faithful and the citizens of the state to maintain peace, tranquillity and communal harmony,” read a statement from the Shillong Archdiocese.
Meghalaya’s Mahila Congress president Joplin Scott Shylla vehemently condemned the killings and described the incident an act of barbarism.
According to her, the incident marks a new low of barbarism by Assam and the incompetence of the present MDA Government in securing the border areas and protecting the lives of its citizens.
She blamed the failure of the state government and the administration for the act.
She demanded a CBI inquiry into the killings and asked the CM and the Home Minister to step down.
The Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC) also condemned the inhuman act and asked the Assam government to take stringent action against the perpetrators of the horrific crime against humanity.
“The monstrosity of the Assam Police’s high-handedness, as witnessed today in Mukroh is condemnable and we demand a representation to the Central government on this cowardly and dastardly act.”
The National People’s Youth Front, while condemning the incident, said: “The police force of any state is meant for the protection of citizens regardless of borders. The violent action of the Assam police is not only a blatant attack on the civil rights of people but also a threat to democracy. Gunning down unarmed civilians is not justifiable under any circumstances.”
“We demand that immediate action be taken against the concerned policemen who were involved in the inhumane act, resulting in the inexplicable loss of human lives. Further, proactive efforts must be made to stop such incidents from happening in the near future,” it added.
The Synjuk Ki Nongsynshar Shnong Ka Bri U Hynniewtrep (SNSBH) has decided to send a memorandum to both the state governments seeking action against those involved and to hand over the probe to the NIA.
The Synjuk ki Rangbah Shnong (SKRS) Ri-Bhoi district condemned the cowardly and barbarian act of the Assam police at Mukroh and asked the Meghalaya government to shift police personnel from Shillong to the border areas to safeguard and protect the people of the state living in constant fear due to the atrocities committed by the Assam police.
On the government’s move to ban mobile internet service for two days, the SKRS said banning the internet will not solve the issue but, instead, will deny the citizens of the state specially the students of their right to technology in this modern age.
The SKRS said the Meghalaya should act in the same way as the governments of Mizoram and Nagaland in dealing with the highhandedness of the Assam government.
It urged citizens of the state, especial the youth, to remain calm and not to resort to any form of violence. The Synjuk also urged the deputy commissioner and SP of Ri-Bhoi to remain vigilant in the border areas so that the residents of those areas can live in peace and harmony.
The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) urged the state governments to be committed to solve the vexed problem with the involvement of the Central government.
Condemning the incident, NESO stated that the clashes that erupted in the border of these two states sent shockwaves throughout the entire region as news from ground zero keep spreading like wildfire.
“The fragile situation along the Assam-Meghalaya border is a reminder of how vulnerable security of border residents can be when such conflicts arise,” NESO said in a statement.

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