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Probe on into vendor murder: SP

Tura, July 22: Meghalaya police today handed over the body of 30-year-old Sahed Miah to his family.

Miah’s body was found on the outskirts of Tura, near Montford Education Centre, last evening.

Miah, who hailed from Mancachar in Assam’s Dhubri district, was a daily-wage earner.

“It is a clear case of murder. Post-mortem was conducted today and we have handed over his body to his family. We have registered a case and an investigation is on,” said Mukesh Singh, the superintendent of police, West Garo Hills.

The cold-blooded murder has angered the residents of Mancachar and its neighbouring areas, who frequent Garo hills for business and other work.

“We are living in constant fear. If the situation remains grim, we will have no option but to abstain from visiting Garo hills,” said Abash Ali, a labourer.

Most daily-wage labourers working in Garo hills are from Assam’s Dhubri and Goalpara districts.

“We come to Garo hills in search of work. We are poor people, we work hard to survive. If there is no security, how can we live here?” asked Mozibul Hussain, a vegetable vendor.

In towns like Tura, Willia-mnagar, Resubelpara, Ampati and Baghmara, a majority of the traders are from Assam, engaged in different trades. In the last two months, 14 people from Mancachar area have been abducted. Two bodies have been recovered so far.

An activist from the plain belt area of Garo hills, Mostapha Kabir, said, “Law and order in Garo hills shows that the state machinery has failed to deal with the situation. We urge the state government to release compensation for the families, whose loved ones have been murdered. The police should immediately arrest the culprits involved in the murder.”

Several civil society groups in Mancachar are holding a protest rally tomorrow to condemn Miah’s murder.