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Two FIRs lodged, magisterial probe ordered; no arrests yet

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We have got some leads, says East Khasi Hills police chief

Ichamati KILLINGS

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, March 28: Two FIRs were lodged while a magisterial inquiry was ordered but no arrest could be made so far in connection with Wednesday’s incident in Ichamati where Ishan Singh and Sujit Dutta (Phuruin Dutta) had lost their lives when they were attacked by some miscreants after a protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the area.
The East Khasi Hills police said they have got some leads and they are working on them.
Superintendent of Police Rituraj Ravi told reporters on Thursday that the officers concerned from Shella had visited the site at Ichamati after receiving information that the body of a person was lying 100 metres away from the market area.
He said even as the inquiry was on, the personnel were informed again about one more body which was found towards Mawlong, around 4 km away.
After a team of forensic science laboratory conducted a preliminary inquiry, the bodies were shifted to Shillong Civil Hospital for post-mortem.
Asked if the deaths are related to the anti-CAA protests in Ichamati on Wednesday, the SP said the matter is being investigated and he is not in a position to disclose everything.
The two FIRs were filed with the Shella Police Station under IPC Section 302 (murder).
“We are investigating the case and we are not ruling out anything,” Ravi said, adding that no permission was sought for staging the anti-CAA protest.
It was learnt that the two victims worked in a limestone quarry.
“We have got certain leads. Although no arrests have been made, we are pursuing the case from all angles,” the SP said.
Stating that the situation is peaceful in the area, he said additional forces have been dispatched to monitor the situation.
The district police chief dismissed social media reports about the recovery of a third body. He said the police searched the entire area and also talked to all concerned villages.
Chief Secretary, Donald P Wahlang on Thursday said the state government has taken all possible steps to ensure normalcy in Ichamati area.
He said they have been engaging throughout the day with the residents of the area from all communities to ensure that the situation does not escalate.
Wahlang also said that the culprits will be identified and brought to book as per the law.
He also informed that the post mortem of the two deceased has been completed.
“We are also working on the ex-gratia payment to the next of kin of the deceased. This is being done as per the prescribed norms,” the chief secretary added.
Victim’s brother,
eyewitness narrate event
The brother of Sujit Dutta (Phuruin Dutta), who was stoned to death, said the victim’s minor children were continuously searching for their father.
“His children ask me where their father is. I have been lying to them that he has gone to a relative’s place,” the brother said, adding that his sister-in-law (Sujit’s wife) is pregnant.
“He got killed for no fault of his own. Who will now take care of his children?” the brother asked.
He said he and the others in the family were born and brought up in Ichamati.
“We are poor and we work only to buy rice and feed ourselves but some people met them on the road and killed them. This is not right,” the brother said.
He said he was at home when he received information that some trouble occurred at Ichamati market. He said he was worried as Sujit had gone to his workplace. As Sujit was not carrying a mobile phone, he could not be contacted.
“One person, who was with my brother and managed to escape from the group, came running to us and told us that our brother was caught by the group,” the brother said.
He said on hearing this, he and his family members rushed to the spot and found Sujit’s lifeless body.
An eyewitness said there were some 15-16 youth in three vehicles when the incident happened.
“Three of us were returning from work. He (Sujit) was killed in front of our eyes,” the eyewitness said, adding when three vehicles stopped in front of them, they all ran away.
He said the vehicles followed them for some time and they saved their lives by hiding in a jungle.

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