Meghalaya Northeast

Meghalaya: Knife surrender rally in Shillong to protest ex-militant leader’s killing

On Monday, a large number of protestors under 11 local organisations held a unique ‘rally pyndem tari‘ (knife surrender rally) in Shillong to protest the government’s failure in suspending police personnel responsible for the killing of former militant leader on August 13.

The protestors carrying knives and giving slogans to suspend the police personnel deposited a large number of locally made knives at Mawlai bus stand after organising a rally which went around the Shillong capital city.

A large number of youths and activists including women along with leaders of the “Ka Sur Ki Nongmawlai”, an umbrella body of 11 local organisations, took part in the unique knife surrender rally demanding suspension of the police personnel responsible for the killing of former General Secretary of the militant outfit HNLC (Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council) Cheristerfield Thangkhiew.

“This is a symbolic protest as the police claimed that they fired upon Thangkhiew in “self-defence” on August 13 when the slain former HNLC leader attacked the police with a knife. Our protests would continue until the government took action against the guilty police officials,” said an activist.

Police officials had earlier claimed that acting on a secret report, the police had gone to Thangkhiew’s residence to arrest him in connection with the blasts of an IED in Shillong and in East Jaintia Hills district headquarters Khliehriat.

The Meghalaya government after the August 15 violence had ordered a judicial probe into the “killing“, and ensuing violence, including stone-pelting and arson, in Shillong.

Demanding a judicial inquiry into the violence, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui had resigned on August 15.

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