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Protestors dumped knives outside Meghalaya secretariat in protest against killing of ex-militant leader

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Shillong: Eleven Pressure Groups on Friday dumped knives in front of Meghalaya secretariat which they had collected from residents of Mawlai in protest against the killing of former Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) General Secretary, Cheristerfield Thangkhiew.

Around 15 to 20 members from eleven NGOs, under the banner Ka Sur Ki Nong Mawlai (Voice of Mawlai People), gathered in front of the secretariat main gate and dumped the knives.

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Several police officials were quickly rushed to the site and the knives were taken away. The protestors however stayed at the site and raised slogans against the police and also demanded justice for the killing of the former militant by the police on August 13 at his residence.

The police have said it fired on Thangkhiew after he attacked one of the police constables during a raid at his residence with a knife. Therefore, the pressure group collected knives as a symbolic protest from the residents of Mawlai on September 6.

The incident took place when the autumn session of the Assembly began on Friday and Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and his Cabinet Ministers and senior officials were in the Assembly.

The protestors are demanding that police officials involved in the “fake encounter” should be immediately suspended. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had said a judicial inquiry has been constituted and decisions would be taken based on its report.

They are demanding that Director General of Police, R Chandranathan, East Jaintia Hills SP Jagpal Singh Dhanoa and SP (Traffic and law and order) Shailendra Bamaniya should be suspended immediately for their alleged involvement in the killing of Thangkhiew.

“We have come to the secretariat to handover these knives and we were expecting to hand over the knives to the Chief Minister,” Donboklang Kharlyngdoh, one of the members of the NGOs said.

He added that the knives were surrendered to demonstrate to the people that the “police department considers knives are more lethal than other weapons.”

Urging all legislators across party lines to speak up against the killing of the Thangkhiew, the members of the pressure groups said the move would ensure that peace prevails in the State.

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