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‘Burnt’ stall owner dies

- Four Shillong accused remanded in 10 days’ custody

Shillong, Dec. 4: A tea stall owner, who was allegedly set ablaze on November 16 here, died this morning in a Guwahati hospital.

Bisheshwar Das, 45, owner of Babua tea stall at Bishnupur Bazaar, had suffered around 50 per cent burn injuries when goons allegedly poured petrol on him before setting him on fire. Prior to that, they had also hurled a petrol bomb into the tea stall.

Das was initially rushed to Woodlands Hospital here for treatment. Later, he was shifted to a Guwahati hospital.

In the incident, Mina Ram Joshi, 70, who had rushed to rescue Das, also sustained burn injuries on his hand while another customer was injured.

Soon after hearing about the demise of the tea stall owner, shops in Bishnupur Bazaar and Last Stop area in Laban downed shutters. The family members of the deceased will take the body to Bihar, where his last rites will be performed.

On November 29, Meghalaya police in West Khasi Hills picked up Peter Lyngkhoi and Johnny Sohkhlet, both 26 and residents of Lawsohtun.

On the same day, two others, Readyonstone Nongrum, 23, and Shemphang Nongkynrih, 27, who allegedly belong to the Khasi Students’ Union, and reside at Lawsohtun, were apprehended from a Sumo vehicle at Elephant Falls junction while coming from Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills.

The police said the four were involved in the November 16 incident, and a court had remanded them to 10 days’ police custody.

This is the second time in as many days that a person has succumbed to injuries after being set on fire in this city.

On October 9, Vikash Nandwal suffered burn injuries when criminals poured petrol on him before setting him on fire. The incident occurred at Nandwal’s shop located in the busy Motphran area. Nandwal succumbed to his injuries in a New Delhi hospital on October 26.

Both the incidents occurred during the agitation spearheaded by pressure groups to demand for the implementation of the inner-line permit (ILP), a mechanism to check the entry of “outsiders” to the state.

The demise of Das has been condoled by Governor Krishan Kant Paul and home minister Roshan Warjri.

“I express my deepest sympathies on the sad demise of Bisheshwar Das despite the best efforts of the medical team and experts. I also extend my deepest condolences to his bereaved family. It is most tragic that the life of an innocent person, and a peace-loving citizen, has been taken away by this inhumane attack, which I strongly condemn,” Warjri said in a statement.

She said the government was taking all necessary measures so that those involved in such heinous crimes were dealt with sternly as per provisions of the law.

“I appeal to all to continue their support to the efforts made to maintain peace and harmony in the society and the state as a whole,” she added.