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Petrol bomb attack on CM’s residence, curfew imposed in Shillong, Home Minister quits

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From Bhupen Goswami

GUWAHATI : In Meghalaya, violence is on the rise over the death of former rebel leader Cherishstarfield Thangkhu. The protesting people attacked Chief Minister Konrad Sangma’s private residence with a petrol bomb on Sunday.  Curfew has been imposed in Shillong due to violence and protests. Mobile internet services have also been suspended in several parts of the state following reports of sabotage and arson. Earlier, state Home Minister Lakhan Rimbui today resigned following violent incidents at the Independence Day celebrations. A total curfew has been imposed in Shillong following the violent incidents.

 Internet services have been suspended in the capital Meghalaya and several other parts of the state. A state government order said the curfew will remain in force till August 17. The government said curfew will continue till 5 am on Tuesday. In Shillong, unidentified persons set fire to a police vehicle at Mawkinroh police post in Jaav area this afternoon.

The policemen on the vehicle, including the in-charge of the outpost, narrowly escaped the incident. An uncomfortable peace has been witnessed in parts of Shillong following the death of former rebel leader Cherishstarfield Thangkhu during a police raid at his house. Thangkhu’s family has termed his death as a “brutal murder by the police.” Hundreds of people attended his funeral today with black flags. On Saturday, Meghalaya Chief Minister Konarad Sangma had said that the state government would order a magisterial inquiry into the death of the former rebel group leader Hinivtrap National Liberation Council. Despite independence day, many were seen lined with black flags on the streets of Shillong, condemning police and the state government over Thangkhu’s death.

Many were also seen standing on the roof of their houses with placards. Incidents of stone pelting have also been reported from some parts of the city. Earlier on Saturday, a police patrol vehicle was pelted with stones. According to police, Thangkhu had tried to escape and attacked the policemen with a knife and had to fire at them in retaliation. Their house was raided on Thursday night, based on evidence that they were involved in an explosion in Latumkhara. In his resignation, the Home Minister said, “I am surprised about this incident where he was killed after a police raid at The Residence of Chesterfield Thangkhiu violating the principles of law. I urge you to free yourself from the responsibility of the Home (Police) Department immediately. This will enable the investigation set up by the Government to bring out the truth behind the incident fair and independent. I propose a judicial inquiry into the matter. ‘

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