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Arson attacks: Police yet to identify culprits

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SHILLONG, May 7: There have been a series of arson attacks in Shillong and its adjoining areas in the past few weeks but the police have not been able to identify the attackers.
The miscreants had torched some government vehicles, and targeted police stations and government installations with petrol bombs.
East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner SC Sadhu said on Tuesday that the administration is closely monitoring the law and order situation. He said night vigil has been intensified.
The administration had issued a notice last week, asking the public to report to the police any suspicious activity. “We will definitely identify the culprits,” Sadhu said.
The administration is using the existing forces strategically and as such, not keen on deploying additional forces. It is also watching the movement of people after 9 pm, the DC said.
A government vehicle, belonging to the Directorate of Water Resources, was torched by the miscreants at Cleve Colony on May 2 while petrol bombs were lobbed at the Rynjah and Sadar Police Stations and at the office of Meghalaya Government Construction Corporation on May 1.
Similar attacks were carried out also in April. On April 30, two police vehicles were set on fire in West Jaintia Hills. Prior to that, the miscreants had lobbed a petrol bomb at the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar at Nongmensong locality in East Khasi Hills on April 26.
Major General (retd) RK Jha, currently serving as NEEPCO Director (personnel), escaped unscathed when his escort vehicle was targeted at Demthring on April 24.
Two miscreants had hurled a petrol bomb at the Mawlai police station in the early hours of April 3.
Recently, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had stated that the attacks were “reactions to the arrest of individuals based on pure evidence and facts involved in certain crimes”.
He said the government has been firm in ensuring that necessary steps are taken against those involved in such crimes.
“We did expect some reactions to certain actions taken to ensure such incidents do not happen,” the chief minister had stated.
He also said that the arson attacks happened after some members of the Khasi Students’ Union were arrested but “it will be incorrect to jump to conclusions”.
He said the government and the police do not act on speculations and that actions have been and will be taken based on facts and evidence. “This is not about any organisation or anyone from a particular group. People cannot take the law into their own hands,” he had stated.

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