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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

NPP leader behind attack: Meghalaya woman beaten up by suspected coal mafia

The women came under attack when they were taking pictures of coal-laden trucks Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district on November 8 to expose alleged illegal mining. Seven people, including a woman, have been arrested in the case.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2018 00:06 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Shillong
A prominent Meghalaya activist and her friend were beaten up suspected coal mafia in East Jaintia Hills while checking out reports of illegal mining.
A prominent Meghalaya activist and her friend were beaten up suspected coal mafia in East Jaintia Hills while checking out reports of illegal mining. (File Photo/AFP)
         

A woman, who was attacked along with social activist Agnes Kharshiing in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district on November 8, has accused senior National Peoples’ Party (NPP) leader Nidamon Chullet of ‘masterminding’ the assault.

The women came under attack when they were taking pictures of coal-laden trucks to expose alleged illegal mining. Seven people, including a woman, have been arrested in the case.

East Jaintia Hills additional district magistrate recorded Amita Sangma’s statement at the North East Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, where both victims are undergoing treatment. Chullet, who is the working president of East-West Jaintia Hills, joined NPP in December in the presence of NPP president and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, and other senior party leaders. He is also the headman of Mynkrem village and the president of Jaintia Hills Truck Owners Association.

In her statement on Saturday, Sangma demanded call records of Ladrymbai police station officers as she suspected that the assailants were tipped off. Kharshiing and Sangma had visited the police station to alert officers about illegal mining.

Sangma told the magistrate that after leaving the police station, they were followed by several people in vehicles. When the women stopped to take pictures of coal-laden trucks at Sohshrieh, they were attacked.

Sources told HT that Chullet’s proximity to the ruling dispensation had led to the delay in his arrest.

Meanwhile, former CM DD Lapang, who is the chief advisor to the government, has suggested an independent probe.

Congress legislator and party spokesperson HM Shangpliang said, “It is now clear that illegal mining is still underway, especially after the NPP leader has been identified as the mastermind of the attack .” He questioned the delay in arresting the accused.

First Published: Nov 26, 2018 00:06 IST