| The construction site where the labourer was killed. Picture by Saidul Khan |
Tura, July 25: Unidentified gunmen killed Sohidur Islam, 46, from Assam’s Mancachar area, on the outskirts of this town in West Garo Hills last night. The police recovered his body later from Aglanggre village under Rongram development block, nearly 7km from here.
West Garo Hills superintendent of police Mukesh Singh said, “His throat was slit and his mouth gagged. We have registered a case of murder and robbery. The police are investigating the matter. No one has been arrested so far.”
An FIR was filed today by his relatives at Araimile police station.
A post-mortem was conducted and the body handed over to relatives from Jhowdanga village, nearly 5km from Mancachar town in Assam’s Dhubri district.
Sohidur was working at a construction site at Aglanggre village, along with seven others. Mohammad Khabirul Islam, the head construction worker, witnessed the incident. “Three armed gunmen came to our site yesterday around 7pm. After iftar, we were preparing dinner. The gunmen demanded money and we gave them Rs 13,000 in cash. They were not satisfied and said they would abduct the head labourer. I told them that he is not there but they suspected that Sohidur was the head and abducted him.”
Of the eight labourers at the construction site, Sohidur was the eldest.
“They searched our pockets and snatched my mobile phone, after which one of the gunmen fled with Sohidur. Two of them remained with us for another few minutes and then left,” said Islam.
“After they left, we sought the villagers’ help and called up our employer Bikash Marak. Villagers were very co-operative and they began a search immediately. The police arrived at the scene another 40 minutes later. Around 8.30pm, the police retrieved the body nearly 500 metres away from the construction site. We were asked to identify the body,” Islam added.
At Aglanggre, the local residents condemned the killing. Silsime Sangma, an elderly villager, said, “They have been working at the site for nearly four months now. They were supposed to leave for Id but unfortunately one of them lost his life.”
A mob today attacked sub-divisional officer (civil), Hatsingimari, A.L. Gyani, and sub-divisional police officer, Maniram Deori, who were going to the house of the deceased’s family at Jhowdanga under Mancachar police station in Dhubri district around 3.30pm today, protesting the labourer’s death.
The police fired eight rounds in the air to disperse the crowd. No one was injured.
The activists at Mancachar and its adjoining areas are demanding compensation for the families and President’s rule in Meghalaya.
A delegation of the Nagarik Suraksha Samiti today met the Assam director-general of police, Khagen Sarma, and submitted a memorandum seeking immediate step to stop abduction, extortion and killing of non-Garo people of Dhubri district in Garo hills.