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Vaiphei to probe ex HNLC militant’s death; Meghalaya CM assures of action against cops

“This judicial inquiry is given complete freedom and independence and full power to look into all aspects of this particular case,” Sangma said.

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Shillong: Retired Chief Justice of Tripura High Court, T Vaiphei, who is the chairperson of Meghalaya Human Rights Commission, would probe into the “killing” of surrendered Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) militant leader, Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said on Wednesday.

“This judicial inquiry is given complete freedom and independence and full power to look into all aspects of this particular case,” Sangma said.
The Meghalaya Cabinet has constituted the judicial inquiry commission to probe into all details of the alleged “cold-blooded murder” of Thangkhiew by the State police after several political parties, pressure groups and family members of the victim have demanded for an independent probe.

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Assuring a free and transparent inquiry, Sangma said the government would take action based on the report of the judicial inquiry commission.
“The government is committed to doing that, but once the judicial inquiry report comes in giving us all details of the case,” he said after meeting headmen and leaders of the ‘Sur ki Nong Mawlai’ (Voice of. Mawlai), comprising local MDC, community heads and social organizations of Mawlai, who demanded suspension of the police personnel responsible and gave the government one week time.

“The government is committed to taking action based on the report of the inquiry commission. We assured that such operations in future would be conducted with the full cooperation and permission of local headmen and procedures would be followed,” the Chief Minister said.

“Once the reports come to us, only when we find out the details, only then will we be able to identify who are responsible for what action. And only then, will it be possible for us to take action in terms of suspension or any other kind of extreme order or action that has to be taken,” he added.

Announcing that Chairperson of the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission Justice T. Vaiphei will be heading the judicial inquiry committee to probe into the incident, the Chief Minister said, “Him
being the chairperson of the MHRC and also being chairperson of this inquiry committee, it will be serving both the purposes from the Human Rights aspect and also ensuring that this judicial inquiry is given complete freedom and independence and full power to look into all aspects of this particular case”.

“Very soon the report will come and based on it we will take necessary action. In the future, this kind of raids or operations should be done in close coordination with also the headmen. Accordingly, appropriate procedures will always be followed and in the future also we will ensure that more steps are taken in order to take people into confidence in such cases,” he said.
“We appealed to all headmen and leaders from different organizations that they must work together with the government because it is in the larger interest of the people of Shillong city and the state as a whole that we have peace,” the Chief Minister iterated.

Sangma said, during the meeting with the headmen, representatives of different organisations, he has assured them that the CRPF camp would be shifted.

“It’s a win–win situation,” Sangma said about the shifting of the CRPF camp from Mawlai area as the CRPF has also wanted to shift to a permanent location.

He said that the state government would work on developing adequate infrastructure for the paramilitary force soon. On the other hand, the Mawlai delegation has rejected to part of the peace committee that has
been set up by the government to bring in peace in the state.

The committee which is headed by Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong, is slated to meet various religious leaders, representatives from pressure groups, senior citizens to collective work in bringing in peace in the state.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has reiterated his appeal for the return of police weapons snatched by some miscreants. He said those who had over the weapons their identity would not be revealed.

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