Meghalaya Assembly Committee recommends independent inquiry into attack of RTI activist

Shillong
26 Nov 2018

The Meghalaya Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment (CWE) Monday recommended institution of an independent inquiry into the November 8 attack of RTI activist Agnes Kharshiing and her aide Amita Sangma in East Jaintia Hills district. The committee headed by Opposition Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh will also submit a preliminary report on the findings of the committee on the November 8 attack before the Assembly Speaker Donkupar Roy at the special session on Tuesday.
"It (The government) is hereby recommended that an Independent inquiry be instituted to probe the matter. The recommendation was made as the investigation is very slow," Ampareen told media persons here. She said, "There were too many missing links in the case. There are too many details that were not made available to the committee."  According to the chairperson of the committee, the institution of an enquiry at the level of an Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) to probe the attack on the two women activists is "not justified".
The deputy commissioner of East Jaintia Hills, F M Dopth, had last week ordered an enquiry to be conducted by ADC S S Syiemlieh and directed him to report within 15 days time. "This is in itself is concerning us because we believe that the life threatening threat against two prominent women in the state of Meghalaya only takes the attention of a committee headed by the ADC," she said. The CWE, which heard the deposition made by Dopth and the district police chief and the investigation officer of the case Monday, also recommended that Rs 5 lakh be released within 7 days for their medical expenses.
Ampareen said the government’s decision to pay Rs 12,700 each as compensation for each of the victim is not justified. While six persons have been arrested till date, the CWE chairperson said that the masterminds of the attack "remained to be at large". "This is a very serious lapse. The committee strongly objects to this casual approach adopted by the district administration," she said.
Agnes and Amita Sangma were critically injured after they were attacked by a group of 30-40 people led by suspected coal mafias at Shohshrieh village. The incident took place after the duo stopped by to take pictures of coal laden trucks at a road side. Amita Sangma on Sunday had accused National Peoples' Party (NPP) leader Nidamon Chullet of "masterminding" the attack. Superintendent of Police S Nongtynger said police were on the lookout for Chullet. "Efforts are on to nab Nidamon Chullet and all those involved in the incident," the SP added. (PTI)