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Protests in Megalaya over fake gunfight


Shillong : Angry villagers Thursday protested in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district against the killing of a Garo rebel leader in an alleged fake gunfight by security forces.

Washington N.Marak, 50, a Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebel was shot dead Wednesday and four suspected rebels arrested from Rongrekgre village. Police claimed to have recovered an AK rifle with four round of live ammunition from marak’s possession.

The protestors claimed Marak and the arrested people have “no links” with the GNLA and termed the police claims as “absurd”.

“We are going to organised a protest rally next Tuesday (Feb 1) at Williamnagar against the merciless acts of police,” Brenarzee B.Sangma, President of A’chik Vigilance Protection Team (AVPT) told IANS.

Sensing breakdown of law and order in the insurgency-ravaged district, police were forced to release unconditionally the four arrested men – Letin R.Marak, 30, Phatil R.Marak,38, Pipar R. Marak and Mili R.Marak – both 18 years old.

Meanwhile, eight organisations, including the powerful Garo Mothers Union Thursday submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma demanding the immediate termination of service of Williamnagar Circle Inspector T.C Chacko for the alleged fake encounter.

The organisations also demanded a compensation of Rs.50 lakh for Washington’s next of kin, besides immediate medical treatment to those four arrested persons.

Condemning the incident, the Nationalist Congress Party, which is the main opposition party in the state, demanded an inquiry and sought strict action against those officials found guilty.