Employment rally turns violent in Meghalaya

Meghalaya violence
Video grab of the violence in Shillong

The unemployment rally sponsored by the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) in Meghalaya’s state capital Shillong turned violent on October 28 as activists went on rampage, assaulting innocent passers-by and damaging vehicles.

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A reporter Evangelist Khongwar associated with a vernacular daily Mawphor was also assaulted by the participants in the rally at Dhankheti for no rhyme or reason.

Interestingly, the police who were escorting the rally did not make any efforts to stop the physical attacks on passers-by and motorists.

The violence began in Police Bazar when some bystanders were attacked with the FKJGP bamboo poles that the participants in the rally were carrying.

But some of the worst attacks occurred at Dhankheti where the commuters and bystanders were chased and attacked.

Though many were injured in the violence, a Meghalaya police official said two persons were injured in the attack.

“We have confirmed that two persons were injured after we inquired from hospitals. So far no one has filed an FIR, but we have filed sou-moto on today’s incident,” Sylvester Nongtnger, the district police chief of East Khasi Hills, told UNI.

Meanwhile, FKJGP president, Dundee C Khongsit has tendered a public apology for the violent incident.

“As president of the organization, I really apologize in front of all the media. We didn’t expect that the unfortunate incident would happen, as before we started the rally we had already appealed to all the youth who had attended the rally that this is a peaceful rally. I would like to extend my apology to them (people who were assaulted) that we feel sorry and we will take responsibility,” Khongsit said.

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Netizens on social media have slammed the organization and the participants for creating ruckus and attacking the bystanders in Meghalaya.

“Meghalaya known for its tourism but this kind of incident will force the visitors to stay away from the state,” wrote on Twitter.

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