Meghalaya Home Minister Resigns:
Meghalaya home minister Lahkmen Rymbui has offered his resignation to CM amid violence in Shillong over the killing of Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, a former leader of militant group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) on Sunday evening. Thangkhiew was killed in a police encounter at his home on August 13 by Meghalaya Police. Rymbui urged the CM to institute a judicial inquiry on the incident.
Curfew has been imposed in Shillong from 8 pm on Sunday and mobile internet stopped in at least four districts of Meghalaya for 48 hours amid vandalism.
Petrol bomb hurled at CM’ residence:
Amid curfew, an incident of throwing petrol bombs at CM’s house took place on Sunday night. Unidentified miscreants lobbed a petrol bomb at CM’s residence at around 15 pm yesterday night, police said. One person was injured in the incident.
What happened on 13th August:
On August 13, Cherishterfield Thangkhiew former leader of Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) was killed at his residence in Mawlai-Kynton Massar in Shillong during an encounter with Meghalaya Police. A joint team of East Jaintia Hills police and East Khasi Hills police raided the former militant leader’s house at about 3 am on Friday.
Meghalaya DGP R Chandranathan claimed that the former General Secretary of HNLC was involved in the IED blast incident at Laitumkharah market in Shillong on August 10. Therefore the joint team of East Jaintia Hills police and East Khasi Hills police raided his house. But as soon as the police team entered his house, the former militant attacked the team with a knife and as a result, police opened fire in retaliation, the DGP stated.
The police team arrested Thangkhiew’s son and one other who were associated with him as claimed by Police. Police also recovered one 9 mm pistol from his house.
Who was Cheristherfield Thankhiew:
Cheristherfield Thankhiew was former General Secretary of Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC). The militant outfit was established in 1997 and Thankgkhiew became the General Secretary.
He was formerly a member of the Hynniewtrep Achik Liberation Council (HALC) which was the first militant group of Meghalaya. He was the General Secretary of HALC also. But after the outfit was disbanded he founded the new rebel outfit HNLC.
He went to Bangladesh in 2004 and established several camps there. But in 2018 he returned and surrendered.
Why people are protesting:
several organizations including family members of Thangkhiew alleged that he was killed in a fake encounter. People claimed that it was pre-planned and cold-blooded murder. Thangkhiew’s brother told the media that Thangkhiew was ill and was at home for a long time. The police didn’t have any evidence against him, he claimed. Several others also demanded a judicial probe into the matter.
On Sunday, people gathered in thousands for Thangkhiew’s funeral wearing black badges. Several organizations also called for a black flag day. Amid his funeral rituals at Lawmali in Shillong, incidents of vandalism and arson were reported from various parts of the state.
As a result, the government imposed a curfew and banned internet services in several districts of the state.