M’laya woman rights activist assaulted, Conrad ordered probe

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HT Bureau

SHILLONG, Nov 8: Noted social activist of Meghalaya, Agnes Kharshiing was critically injured after she was attacked by unidentified miscreants in coal-rich East Jaintia Hills district on Thursday afternoon.

Kharshiing, president of the Civil Society Women’s Organization (CSWO) and her friend A Sangma received severe head injuries in the attack which took place at Sohshrieh in Tuber village, about 80 kilometers from here.

Both were rushed to the Jowai civil hospital at Lalong in West Jaintia Hills District, which is about 30 kilometers off Tuber. Later, Kharshiing was shifted to the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS).

The anti-corruption and women’s rights activist has been raising her voice against illegal coal mining in the region.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a blanket ban on coal mining in Meghalaya for the past four years since April 17, 2014.

Confirming the attack incident, EJH district police chief Silvester Nongtyngnger said on receiving information about the assault on the activist at around 1.30-1.40 pm, two police team from SP office and Ladrymbai beat house were immediately put to swift action.

The SP further informed that a case has been registered and police are making all out efforts to identify the culprits involved in the attack.

Meanwhile, sources informed that Kharshiing had hired a local taxi from Shillong to go to East Jaintia Hills district.

Sources informed that as per the taxi driver, Kharshiing had taken some photographs of coal in certain locations while coming back from Ladrymbai area.

It may be mentioned here on March earlier this year, Jaintia Youth Federation (JYF) president Poipynhun Majaw was brutally murdered by miscreants in East Jaintia Hills District and till date police are yet to make any arrest in this regard.

The attack was perpetrated a day after based on Kharshiing’s complaint, the police had seized some coal-laden trucks in Shillong.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma has condemned the incident. “We have issued necessary directions to the police and district administration to investigate the matter and arrest those behind the attack. Civil Society plays an important role in a democratic system as they are instrumental in highlighting the concerns of the people. Violence in any form will not be tolerated and the government will take all necessary steps to ensure that those behind the attack are brought to justice,” Sangma said in a statement here Thursday night.

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