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Meghalaya police on March 10 arrested 24 people for killing a 24-year-old man and injuring two others, over a suspicion that they were ‘menshohnoh’ or hire-killers, police said.

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On Sunday, a mob of people waylaid a group of nine picnickers and attacked them with rods and sticks at Pashang village after they were proceeding home from a picnic in Syntung village, a tourist destination under Mawkynrew Block in East Khasi Hills district, suspecting them to be hire-killers.

The deceased was identified as Macmillan Kharshandi, while two others who received grievous head injuries include Ricky Dkhar and Teiborlang Kharbyngar.

“We have arrested 24 persons this morning in connection with Sunday’s incident,” Superintendent of Police for East Khasi Hills district, Claudia Lyngwa told UNI.

Out of the 24 arrested persons, she said four accused has been sent awarded 3 days police custody and the rest were sent to judicial custody.

Initially, police have picked up 27 persons but three others were released after they were verified that they were juveniles.

Meanwhile, Sordar (village chief) of Syntung, Robert Pale on Tuesday clarified that the barbarian acts on the visitors did not occur within his village jurisdiction. “The incident occurred 10 km away from Syntung and none of the villagers from Syntung were involved in the incident,” Pale told reporters.

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Refusing to reveal the names of those involved in attacking the picnickers, the village chief said, “I don’t recognize even one from the 1000s mob who assaulted the boys that came from various villages in the area. But many of the people in the unruly mob were under the influence of alcohol.”

However, Pale assured that the village dorbar will cooperate with the police with their investigation and will not spare anyone who are involved in the crime.

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