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Migrant worker from Assam killed, eight injured in Meghalaya

The migrant workers were hired for the construction work for St. Xavier’s Girls hostel and had obtained work licenses mandated by the Meghalaya government and every procedure was followed.

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Shillong: A migrant worker from Assam was killed while eight others are injured after a group of masked goons attacked them at Umoid village in Meghalaya’s South West Khasi Hills district late on Wednesday night, police said on Thursday.

The migrant workers were hired for the construction work for St. Xavier’s Girls hostel and had obtained work licenses mandated by the Meghalaya government and every procedure was followed.

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Principal and Director of the school, Paul Coelho said “violence is not an acceptable solution to any problem and a threat to the life or wellbeing of an innocent worker is not a price that the authorities are willing to accept.”

Therefore, the Education Council of the Jesuit Society for North East India has resolved that “all work in Umoid will indefinitely be kept on hold, including the running of classes, ” Coelho informed Superintendent of Police, South West Khasi Hills district, Maxwell Syiem said that the incident occurred at around 11:30 pm on Wednesday when a group of 20 masked men attacked migrant workers.

He said the injured were rushed to Civil Hospital, Shillong and one of them succumbed to his injuries. The deceased was identified as Raju Mondal (22) from South Salmara Mankachar, Assam.

Syiem said investigation is on to find out the persons behind the murderous act.

Coelho said that the approval for construction work was sought from the Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma, Home Minister Lakhmen Rymbui and Law Minister, James Sangma apart from the Deputy Commissioner of South West Khasi Hills district and local leaders.

“In addition, the school authorities also met the Presidents of some NGOs, including the KSU and HYC, to explain the need for these workers. They also met with the local DC and local leaders. At every stage they were assured of the safety of the workers, acknowledging that their intentions as an educational institution were genuine and the purpose was not to run a for-profit business,” Coelho stated in a statement.

“On occasions when the school authorities, despite their sincerest efforts, have inadvertently  overlooked any requirement, they have readily apologized and tried to resolve the problem.

However, violence is not an acceptable solution to any problem, no matter what it is a threat to the life or wellbeing of an innocent worker is not a price that the authorities are willing to accept,” he further said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Sangma said the law would take its own course against such criminals.

“Those responsible for this kind of act will not be allowed to go freely,” Sangma said.

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