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Judicial probe on killing of former militant leader in Meghalaya begins

The government constituted the judicial inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act after pressure groups demand for an independent probe into the alleged “fake encounter”.

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Shillong: The one-man Commission of Inquiry headed by retired Chief Justice of Tripura High Court Justice T. Vaiphei, to probe into the alleged cold/blooded murder of ‘surrendered’ Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) militant leader Cherishterfield Thangkhiew, has asked people to come forward to record their statement in connection with the incident.

The government constituted the judicial inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act after pressure groups demand for an independent probe into the alleged “fake encounter”.

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The judicial inquiry has called upon all persons, officials who are acquainted with the incident at the residence of Thangkhiew at Mawlai to furnish a statement about the incident to the Commission on or before September 25, next.

The former HNLC leader was killed at his residence in a pre-dawn raid by the police in Mawlai’s Kynton Massar locality on August 13.
Police officials said Thangkhiew resisted the raid and tried to stab a police constable with a knife prompting the police to fire at him in self defence.

However, the family members and pressure groups under the banner of Voice of Mawlai People have claimed that Thangkhiew was murdered by the police in a fake encounter.

They also demanded that three police officials —Director General of Police R. Chandranathan, East Jaintia Hills Superintendent of Police Jagpal Singh Dhanoa and Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Shailendra Bamaniya – for their alleged role in the execution of Thangkhiew.
However, the government has refused to comply to their demand and said that it would wait for the report of the judicial inquiry.

The terms of reference for the judicial inquiry are to probe into the facts and circumstances leading to the death of Thangkhiew.
The judicial inquiry would report as to the culpability or otherwise of the police action resulting in the death of Thangkhiew and other circumstances which in the opinion of the Commission are relevant.
The judicial inquiry has stated that in the absence of any rules framed in this behalf by the state government or till the time such rules are framed the inquiry would be guided by the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952.

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