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EGH triple-murder case: NGOs meet in Assam to defuse tensions

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TURA, April 21: Amidst rising tensions over the brutal murder of three residents of Assam near the village of Tamsura in East Garo Hills (EGH), the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AMMSU) Goalpara unit met with members of various groups of North Garo Hills (NGH) and the Assam chapter of the Garo Students’ Union (GSU) on Sunday to work on defusing the tension that has prevailed since the killing.
On April 17, three persons from Assam, who had gone to EGH on a work related trip were found to have been murdered and the car in which they were travelling in, burnt. The three had been apparently burnt alive following which they were buried in a makeshift grave. The bodies of the victims were later recovered by the police and a murder case was lodged. No suspects have been identified as of now as per the latest report from the state police.
Tension had prevailed in Assam over the killing with social media helping in adding fuel to the fire.
On Saturday, residents of Assam had blocked the road coming towards Meghalaya following which there had been panic. Various protest meets were organised to seek a fast investigation and justice for the victims.
In an effort to defuse the prevailing tensions, a meeting was called by the GSU Assam Zone with the AMMSU and various other NGOs from North Garo Hills.
The meeting was attended by members of the AAYF, AIJIF, GSMC, AYWO, ADE, PJAC, AHAM, FAF, AYWS, and Mothers’ Union along with AMMSU leaders. Following the meeting, the two sides unanimously agreed to await the outcome of the ongoing investigation into the triple murders.
“We would like to urge everyone to refrain from circulating rumours, videos, statements, and comments related to the incident. Such actions can only exacerbate tensions and hinder the search for truth and justice. First and foremost, it is deeply regrettable that lives were lost. The killing of any human being is a grave offense that must be unequivocally condemned,” the combined groups stated in a release.
The release, while reminding that it was important to note that the victims were individuals with pending criminal cases against them in Assam, stated that the loss of their lives was still a tragedy that warrants condemnation.
“The ethnicity or community affiliation of the perpetrators should not overshadow the pursuit of justice. Let us allow the law enforcement agencies to conduct a thorough investigation and ensure that those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We must resist the urge to turn this tragedy into a communal issue. Blocking roads or inciting communal tensions will only hinder the investigative process and delay justice. Let us remain united in our call for a fair and impartial investigation,” the release added, while requesting people from both the states to exercise restraint and come together as a community to support the pursuit of truth and justice for all involved,” said the statement.
Meanwhile speaking about the meeting, AMMSU Goalpara district president, Aminul Hoque Choudhury said that the situation was peaceful and trade and commerce had resumed.
“The meeting was called by the GSU Assam and other NGOs and we decided to work together to ensure peace. An investigation is currently in place and we are working on whether we should seek a more thorough and higher investigation into the case,” stated Choudhary.
He added that letters had been sent to the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Assam as well as  to Union Home Minister, Amit Shah on the gruesome killings seeking justice for the victims as well as a speedy inquiry.
“We have also sought compensation for the victims who lost their lives and action against those who are responsible for their deaths. Further we want to urge the Meghalaya government to set up a distress call number for tourists and labourers from outside the state which can respond to such emergency situations. The safety and security of everyone are of utmost importance,” added the AMMSU leader.

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