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Five arrested over Meghalaya policeman’s suicide

Five people, including a government officer, have been arrested by the police SIT probing the death of a Meghalaya police officer, an official said on Thursday.

“Granville Hardy Passah, a block development officer of Jirang in Ri-Bhoi district, and four others were arrested on Wednesday for abetting the suicide of Sub-Inspector Pearlystone Joshua Marbaniang, who was then officer-in-charge of Patharkhmah police outpost, in his official quarters in January,” Inspector General of Police H. Nongpluh told IANS.

The other four were Centerwell Doloi ASordar, headman of Sohkyrbam-Domphlang village, Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) president in-charge (western zone) Shemphang Nongtri and FKJGP member Lawyer Syngkli and a contractor Comingstar Kharbani.

Marbaniang was found shot in his head in his official quarters on January 24 at Patharkhmah. He was taken to a hospital and later rushed to the Guwahati Neurological Research Centre hospital.

The five arrested people were later presented before the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Ri-Bhoi district headquarters Nongpoh and sent to 14 days judicial custody.

Police said the five were involved in abetting the suicide by exerting pressure on the police official to release 30 coal-laden trucks detained by him.

“During the investigation, we found that Marbaniang committed suicide after they exerted pressure on him to release the 30 trucks carrying coal illegally to Assam via Patharkhmah,” IGP Nongpluh said.

The SIT will submit a 974-page chargesheet against the five to the court on Friday.

The SIT has also filed six FIRs against government officials, police and the Jirang BDO on illegal collection of money from coal-laden trucks.