SHILLONG: The one-man inquiry commission constituted by the Assam government to investigate the police firing incident that occurred at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills district faced a setback as not a single witness from Meghalaya turned up for the scheduled hearing, on August 7.
Expressing her disappointment, the chairperson of the commission, Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan, a retired judge of the Gauhati High Court, informed that despite extensive notification and public notices published in newspapers on August 4, no one appeared before the commission. The hearing, which aimed to examine witnesses from Meghalaya, took place at Assam House in Shillong.
“I decided to proceed with the hearing based on the evidence collected by the commission,” Justice Phukan was quoted as saying by local press. So far, the commission has examined 53 to 55 witnesses and collected documentary evidence from the Assam side in the case, she informed.
The commission’s frustration stemmed from the fact that the Meghalaya government-constituted inquiry commission had successfully recorded evidence from the party in Assam, while the Assam commission lacked specific contact information for the witnesses from Meghalaya, making it challenging to ensure their attendance.
When asked about the commission’s report submission date to the Assam government, Justice Phukan stated that they were close to wrapping up the inquiry but had scheduled another date, possibly August 22, for the investigating officer to produce the case diary.
Earlier on November 22, 2022, six people lost their lives in a firing incident involving Assam police at Mukroh village. Among the victims, five were from Meghalaya, and one was an Assam forest guard.
In response to the incident, the Assam government had promptly formed a one-man inquiry commission, with Justice Phukan at the helm, to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.