Opposition All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) on Wednesday demanded the immediate arrest of the Assam police who were involved in the killing of five persons at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills District.
The opposition also condemned the Meghalaya and Assam government for their actions which are seen as knee jerk reaction even as it announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia to the next of kin of the victims killed in the November 22 police firing.
Addressing media persons, Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma said a case has been registered by the authorities concerned from Meghalaya but it should not just be an eye wash as the government has always been seen engaging in lip service.
“To restore trust and confidence amongst the people, the government must direct the authorities concerned to follow up the case, if FIR has been lodged and registered and demand that arrest be made. The arrest of those who were responsible for this brutal incident must be arrested and the government of Assam must hand over those people to the authorities concerned as per law of the land,” he said.
Referring to the state government’s decision to seek the intervention of the union home minister Amit Shah for a CBI or NIA probe into the incident, Sangma said, “The case is very clear the law of the land is there. Let them follow the relevant sections of the CrPC/IPC and arrest the people who are involved in this killing and therefore they must demand the Assam to handover those who are involved in this whole homicide, murder, brutal killing.”
“Talking to MHA, why do you need a separate law for this? We don’t need a separate law. People who have come there it is on record they will be known who else are required to know – both the law enforcing agencies from both the government has to know. Therefore, where is the need for delaying? They must proceed ahead. Issue an arrest warrant and ask the Assam government to ensure that the people who are accused in the case are handed over. It is as simple as that then the law of the land will take its own course,” he added.
Condemning the manner in which both the Meghalaya and Assam governments are handling the situation, Sangma said, “I condemn the attitude of both the governments. It is not the way to deal with this situation. It is not an action at all it is a reaction, it is kneejerk reaction.”
“These irresponsible leaders don’t look at the fallout of whatever actions they are resorting to just to deal with the situation, a situation which is being created by the government themselves not by the people,” he said adding this inept reaction of the governments has affected the people.
He said the Meghalaya government’s decision to shut down the internet is depriving people of their rights.
“Therefore, this only shows that this government has no wherewithal to understand and comprehend as to how to deal with this situation and in the process what is happening is that they are only escalating the situation…Therefore, I condemned this attitude of the government for depriving the rights of the citizens,” Sangma said while demanding “they should immediately restore internet and enable us to somehow carry on our daily course without being suppressed or oppress by this kind of interventions as there are provisions under the law but this is not a situation which demands for this.”
Stating that the then government had never resorted to such banning of the internet, he said, “We have never done it. I have the privilege of being not just chief minister but I also have the privilege of being deputy chief minister and minister in charge of Home etc, we have never resorted to this.”
The former chief minister further slammed the Assam government for telling the people not to visit Meghalaya.
“How is the Assam government resorting to telling people not to go to Meghalaya? Why don’t they talk to each other? The Assam and Meghalaya governments should talk to each other and ensure there are no chances of breakdown of law and order. However, I didn’t see any rather honest effort from both the authorities – Assam and Meghalaya counterparts,” he rued.
“They only shutdown the internet and make people stay indoors – this is not the way to handle the situation and in the process what is happening there is a misinformation campaign going on that as though this incident has taken place is because of the hatred between different communities which is incorrect as there is no fight between Assamese and the Khasis, there is no fight between the communities of Meghalaya and rest of communities on the other side of the border but both the governments are creating this perception which is wrong,” he said.
He also asserted that peace and tranquility must prevail and how to really maintain this peace and tranquility is the responsibility of the government.