Citizens demand independent probe over alleged murder attempt on Agnes Kharshiing

Shillong: Citizens who converged to express solidarity and condemn the brutal attack on social activist, Agnes Kharshiing and her associate, Amita Sangma resolved to demand an independent probe into the incident and nab all culprits within no time.

Well-wishers and a few concerned citizens assembled at a car parking lot near Additional Secretariat for the protest and said that the government has to take the responsibility for the attack on the two women, who are now in critical condition. Free medical treatment should be extended to both of them.

The gathering demanded that sections of the law related to criminal conspiracy and common intention should be included in connection with the case registered against the attack on Agnes and Amita.

Police have registered the case only on an attempt to murder and robbery at Khliehriat police station.

So far only two accused have been arrested in connection with the attack, where a group of 30 persons had attacked Agnes and Amita with an intention to kill them.

Both Agnes and Amita were attacked on November 8 at Sohshrieh in East Jaiñtia Hills district after they returned from Lad Rymbai where a complaint was lodged against illegal mining and illegal transportation of coal.

Reportedly, the attackers thought that Agnes and Amita were dead, and left them in a jungle few metres from the National Highway after they attacked them.

It may be mentioned that CSWO President Agnes Kharshiing is still battling for her life and kept on ventilation, while Amita is stable and she has been able to speak now.

Apart from an independent enquiry into the incident, they also demanded a separate inquiry into illegal mining activities which have been going on since 2014 till date despite the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal.

Former home minister, RG Lyngdoh said that the attack on Agnes and Amita showed that illegal coal mining is continuing and demanded that proper probe unravel the nexus of coal mafias with police and other higher authorities.

Lyngdoh also urged those engaged in mining to look at other means of livelihood so that one need not dependent only on coal or limestone mining.

Also, Former church leader, PB M Basaïawmoit said that human rights activists have been targeted everywhere because both state actors and non-state actors look at rights activists as people who do wrong things.

He also said that the attack on Agnes and her friend reminded everyone about the killing of Under Trial Prisoner, Fullmoon Dhar in June 2009, as well as the death of Poipynhun Majaw in March this year.

He also talked about climate change and ongoing coal mining that would not do good to the people and the environment in the long run.