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Meghalaya government orders judicial probe into killing of HNLC militant

The Cabinet decision to institute a judicial probe into the “killing” of the surrendered HNLC leader came after several pressure groups demanded a judicial probe and accused the police of conducting a “fake encounter”, even as family members of the victim termed the “killing” as “cold-blooded murder”.

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Shillong: The Meghalaya Cabinet on Monday decided to initiate a judicial inquiry into the ‘killing’ of former HNLC General Secretary Cheristerfield Thangkhiew.

“The cabinet was briefed on the different aspect of events that took place in the last five days and also discussed the police operations that took place on August 13 early morning and details were given to the cabinet ministers and officials and based on all those aspects and also based on suggestions that were given by cabinet Ministers the cabinet has decided to constitute a judicial inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act would be constituted to probe into the events that took place on the morning hours of August 13,” Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said.

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He said the concerned persons who would be part of it have already been intimated.

The Cabinet decision to institute a judicial probe into the “killing” of the surrendered HNLC leader came after several pressure groups demanded a judicial probe and accused the police of conducting a “fake encounter”, even as family members of the victim termed the “killing” as “cold-blooded murder”.

The United Democratic Party and Hill State People’s Democratic Party, the allies in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government for a judicial probe, while the opposition Congress party demanded for an independent inquiry into the incident.

However, the State police maintained that the raid was conducted at Thangkhiew’s residence based on “credible and tangible evidence” of his involvement in the IED blasts in East Jaintia Hills district and in the Laitumkhrah market in Shillong.

Earlier, the government has instituted a magisterial enquiry into the “killing” of Thangkhiew. The Superintendent of Police, East Khasi Hills district has submitted a report to the National Human
Rights Commission on the incident.
The Chief Minister also informed that the Cabinet has decided to set up a Peace Committee, which will be headed by Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong and Cabinet Ministers Hamletson Dohling and Renikton Tongkhar Lyngdoh as members of the committee to hold parleys with NGOs, religious leaders, headmen and others to bring in peace in the state capital.

“The Committee will co-opt other members from the civil society including religious organisations
and other stakeholders,” Sangma said.

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