SHILLONG: West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, on July 31, said the attack on Chief Minister Conrad Sangma during a meeting in Tura on July 24 was not a pre-planned conspiracy.
Stating that there is no “solid evidence” to suggest that the attack was an assassination attempt at the Chief Minister, DC Jagdish Chelani, said that it wouldn’t be fair to call it an intelligence failure as well.
Chelani’s statement, which came after a meeting with the church elders from Tura town, district officials, and the police, is in stark contrast with the claims previously made by Meghalaya Police chief, Director General of Police (DGP) L R Bishnoi who had labeled the incident as an assassination attempt at the Chief Minister.
The DGP’s claim, however, was ridiculed and condemned by nearly all Garo Hills-based organisations, accusing the top cop of attempting to label the entire Garo community as terrorists in order to “deflect criticism of the police’s lack of preparedness and intelligence failure”.
To investigate the causes of the mob violence on July 24, two separate inquiries have been initiated – one headed by the Inspector General of Police, which has already been cleared on July 28 and the other, led by a Commissioner and Secretary of the state government. The reports of the latter will be announced shortly, Chelani said.
According to the West Garo Hills DC, three key conspirators of the violence – Rakhi Sangma, Chukame Sangma, and a Facebook user named Salgrik M Sangma – are currently on the run, and he appealed to them to surrender to the police.
The deputy commissioner also refuted reports that it was a spontaneous decision to take the chief minister to the ACHI’K protesters’ location. He clarified that the decision to meet the ACHI’K protesters at a separate venue, which was the mini secretariat, was pre-decided, while the main meeting with other civic-bodies and the public was scheduled to take place at the Circuit House.
Chelani also informed that among the 47 arrested in connection with the case, there are members from the All India Trinamool Congress, BJP, and a few NPP supporters as well.