Monday, 30th October 2017

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Curfew in parts of Mahedraganj

Move after mob lays siege to police station following rumours

By Our Correspondent in Shillong
  • Published 23.07.19, 1:13 AM
  • Updated 23.07.19, 1:13 AM
  • a min read
A damaged vehicle in Mahendraganj on Monday The Telegraph picture

Curfew has been clamped in parts of Mahendraganj in Meghalaya’s South West Garo Hills after a police station came “under siege” from people following a rumour that police had shot at a person who was running away after stealing their weapon.

While the area has been in the news for floods, the incident on Monday came as a surprise.

Mahendraganj is nearly 400km from Shillong, close to the international border with Bangladesh. It is also around 27km from Ampati, the district headquarters of South West Garo Hills.

Deputy commissioner Ram Kumar S. said around 9pm on Sunday, a complaint was received over phone at Mahendraganj police station that a mentally unstable person was brandishing a weapon near Mahendraganj PWD area in Nadichar.

After receiving the complaint, the police proceeded to the place and spotted a person, later identified as Ahidul Islam, 35. He reportedly tried to attack the police with a dao.

In the process of trying to catch hold of Islam, one of the police personnel dropped his service rifle and while trying to recover his rifle fell into a river.

Kumar said Islam, who was allegedly “mentally disturbed”, took away the rifle and ran.

A police sub-inspector fired a blank in an attempt to stop Islam. But that did not deter him and he managed to flee.

Sources said the weapon which Islam took away was an Insas rifle and belonged to a police constable.

“He is still missing. There is no confirmation whether he is dead or alive,” Kumar said.

Following the incident, on Monday morning a rumour spread that police had shot at a person who was running away after stealing their gun. People soon gathered at the police station and laid a “siege”.

“People had gathered around 11am and after a while started pelting stones,” Kumar said.

Windshields of many vehicles were damaged but there were no other major incidents, he said.

After the incident, the superintendent of police, an additional district magistrate, and a block development officer rushed to Mahendraganj.

As a precautionary measure, Kumar said Section144 CrPC has been ordered and curfew has been imposed from Monday afternoon till 8am on Tuesday in areas around Mahendraganj.

Moreover, additional reinforcements have arrived from Tura in West Garo Hills and Ampati.

While the situation is under control, Kumar said a magisterial inquiry into the incident will be ordered. Two cases have also been registered at Mahendraganj police station.