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Meghalaya NCP candidate Jonathone Sangma killed in ‘militant attack’

Locals say the Garo National Liberation Army, a rebel outfit fighting for a sovereign Garoland, had put up posters in Williamnagar threatening voters if they vote for Jonathone.

Meghalaya Elections 2018 Updated: Feb 19, 2018 13:41 IST
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Jonathone Nengminza Sangma,NCP candidate,Meghalaya elections
Jonathone N Sangma, who was contesting from Williamnagar seat, had filed a case in 2013 against education minister Deborah C Marak accusing him of taking help of a terrorist outfit to intimidate voters during the polls.(File Photo)

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate from Williamnagar seat in East Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, Jonathone Nengminza Sangma, and two of his security guards were reportedly killed in a militant attack on Sunday evening.

Reports said the incident took place around 7.50pm at Samanda, a remote location nearly 245km from state capital Shillong, when the candidate was returning to Williamnagar from poll campaigning. “We have reports of an IED blast, which claimed some lives. The details are not available as the police team is yet to reach the spot and confirm,” Meghalaya police DGP SB Singh said at 10:00pm.

The 43-year-old had contested from the same seat in 2013 as an Independent candidate. This time, there are eight other candidates from the seat including education minister Deborah C Marak, who is contesting on a Congress ticket. Meghalaya goes to polls on February 27.

Locals say the Garo National Liberation Army, a rebel outfit fighting for a sovereign Garoland, had put up posters in Williamnagar threatening voters with dire consequences if they vote Sangma. “We have reports there were seven people in the vehicle when the incident happened. Since there is no mobile network in the area, we are not sure about the exact details,” said Meghalaya chief electoral officer FR Kharkongor.

“We have reports that there were seven people in the vehicle when the incident happened. Since there is no mobile network in the area where the incident took place, we are not sure about the exact details,” said Meghalaya chief electoral officer FR Kharkongor.

Incidentally, Jonathone had filed a case in 2013 against Deborah, the winner from the seat five years ago, accusing her of taking help of a terrorist outfit to intimidate voters during the polls.

Deborah had won the seat in 2013 securing 8,402 votes while Jonathone had come second with 5,525 votes.

Jonathone, who is a matriculate, also had a case filed against him in 2012 under sections 493 and 417 on charges of cheating and “cohabitation caused by a deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage”.

First Published: Feb 18, 2018 23:12 IST