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24 arrested in Meghalaya on suspicion of being hired killers

Correspondent SHILLONG, MAR 9 | Publish Date: 3/10/2020 11:07:32 PM IST

Meghalaya police on Tuesday have arrested 24 people for killing a 24-year-old man and injuring two others, over a suspicion that they were ‘menshohnoh’ or hired-killers, police said. 

On Sunday, a mob of people waylaid  a group of nine picnickers and attacked them with rods and sticks at Pashang village after they were proceeding home from a picnic in Syntung village, a tourist destination under Mawkynrew Block in East Khasi Hills district. The mob were suspected  to be hired-killers.   The deceased was identified as Macmillan Kharshandi, while two others who received grievous head injuries were Ricky Dkhar and Teiborlang Kharbyngar. 

“We have arrested 24 persons this morning  in connection with Sunday’s incident,” Superintendent of Police for East Khasi Hills district, Claudia Lyngwa said.  Of the 24 arrested persons, she said four have been  awarded 3 days police custody and the rest were sent to judicial custody. 

Initially, police have picked up 27 persons but three others were released after they were verified that they were juveniles. 

Meanwhile, Sordar (Village Chief) of Syntung, Robert Pale on Tuesday clarified that the barbarian act on  visitors did not occurred within his village jurisdiction. 

“The incident occurred 10 km away from Syntung and none of the villagers from Syntung were involved in the incident,” Pale told journalists. 

Refusing to reveal the names of those involved in attacking the picnickers, the village chief said, “I don’t recogonise even one from the 1000s mob who assulted the boys that came from various villages in the area. But many of the people in the unruly mob were under the influence of alcohol.”

However, Pale assured that the village dorbar will cooperate with the police with their investigation and will not spare anyone who are involved in the crime.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya BJP Unit and Khasi Students’ Union, Mawkynrew Unit strongly condemned the incident. 

Urging people to refrain from such superstitious beliefs which only end up in the loss of precious lives, BJP State president Ernest Mawrie also urged the state government to take stern action against the culprits. 

Mawrie urged the government to provide compensation to the family of the deceased and financial assistance to the injured.

Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said the government is contemplating to come up with a law to take stern action against those involved in mob lynching, adding that laws are already there to punish people involved in such killings.

Rymbui said the police will speed up the process of investigation and prosecution.

Asked if compensation will be extended to the victim’s family, the Home Minister said that he is still waiting for a detailed report to know how the incident had taken place.

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