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Orgs pickets office for fake encounter; govt seeks report
Correspondent/PTI Shillong, Mar 1:
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Published on 1 Mar. 2011 10:59 PM IST
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Normal functioning of government offices and financial institutions in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district continued to remained paralysed today due to the office-picketing – the second day of the office picketing.
Till filing of this report there have been no reports any untoward incident from any part of the district.
The office picketing was sponsored by the influential Garo Student’s Union (GSU) and other Garo Hills-based social organisations demanding suspension of police personnel involved in a “fake-encounter”.
On January 26, Washington N Marak was allegedly killed in a “fake encounter” at Rongrekgre village near Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills district. Police claimed that Marak was a member of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), a nascent militant group operating in Garo Hills.
“The picketing is to put pressure on the government to suspend the circle inspector T.C Chacko and other police personnel who were involved in the fake encounter,” GSU Spokesman Johnmiltu Sangma said.
Apart from the demand of suspending the policemen, he said the social organisations are demanding a compensation of Rs 50 lakh from the government for Marak’s next of kin.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya education department today sought a report after school students were involved in a picketing by organizations protesting an alleged fake encounter in East Garo Hills district.
The three-day office picketing called by some eight organizations, led by the Garo Students Union, evoked response on the second day today in the district headquarter town of Williamnagar.
An official said the Education department has sought a report from the district administration on the role of the organizations who were involving school students for the agitation.
“Using innocent children is in violation of statutes of NHRC and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights,” the official added.
Government offices reported thin attendance, but there was no untoward incident.
The agitating organizations are demanding Rs 50 lakh compensation to the suspected militants killed in the encounter and suspension of the circle inspector who led the operation on January 26 during which four others were also arrested.
Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said school children were involved in the picketing which was an “ugly trend.” On January 26, one suspected militant was shot dead, four others arrested and a huge cache of arms and explosives recovered during the encounter. A mob fury later forced the police to release the arrested ‘militants’ a day later, with locals claiming that they were innocent villagers.
After the protests, the state government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the encounter and a high level inquiry to ascertain the facts that led to the subsequent protests.

 
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