Mob attacks 2 women activists in Meghalaya

Agnes Kharshing had taken photos of coal-laden trucks in East Jaintia Hills, in 2nd attack on social activists in area

By Rining Lyngdoh in Shillong
  • Published 9.11.18, 12:55 AM
  • Updated 9.11.18, 12:55 AM
  • a min read
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Agnes Kharshiing being wheeled into hospital in Shillong. Picture by UB Photos

Noted RTI activist Agnes Kharshiing and her associate Anita Sangma were attacked allegedly by a mob in coal-rich East Jaiñtia Hills district on Thursday. Both are in critical condition following serious head injuries.

The incident took place at Sohshrieh village bordering West Jaiñtia Hills district between 1.30pm and 2pm, when Kharshiing and Sangma were returning to Shillong from Lad Rymbai in East Jaiñtia Hills district. Sohshrieh is nearly 80km from here.

This was the second attack on social activists in East Jaiñtia Hills. On March 19, former president of the Jaiñtia Youth Federation, Poipynhun Majaw, was murdered by goons. Police are yet to arrest anyone.

Kharshiing, who is also the president of the Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO) and Sangma were rushed to Jowai civil hospital in West Jaiñtia Hills, but later shifted to the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) here.

According to superintendent of police, East Jaiñtia Hills, S. Nongtynger, two police teams from Khliehriat were sent to Sohshrieh. The police found the two social activists in a critical condition after being attacked by the mob at Sohshrieh and rushed them to the civil hospital at Jowai. A case has been registered and the police are looking for the attackers.

The two social activists went to Lad Rymbai in a hired taxi from here. Sources said the driver was spared by the mob while the two social activists were attacked brutally by the mob that included women.

Sources said Kharshiing had taken photographs of coal being dumped at a few locations on their return journey.

At Sohshrieh, Kharshiing stopped on seeing some coal-laden trucks after which she and her associate were attacked. “The attackers first blocked her vehicle and then started assaulting them,” a source said.

Chief minister Conrad K. Sangma condemned the attack. “The MDA government strongly condemns the attack. on Agnes and her team. We have asked the police and the district administration to investigate the matter and arrest the culprits,” he said. “Civil society plays an important role in a democratic system as they are instrumental in highlighting the concerns of the people.”