Family demands CBI probe into attacks on Meghalaya women’s activists

Shillong: The family members of two prominent women’s rights activists, who were injured in a mob attack in Meghalaya, on Tuesday urged Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to institute a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident.

Frontline women’s rights activists Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma, fighting against illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state, were brutally attacked after they photographed coal-laden trucks on November 8 at Tuber Sohshrieh area in East Jaintia Hills district.

The National Green Tribunal had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in Meghalaya from April 17, 2014.

Welcoming the government decision for an independent probe, the family members requested the Chief Minister to allow and facilitate an independent investigation to be conducted by the CBI so as to apprehend and arrest all those miscreants including those who masterminded the attack and who are “indulging in unlawful activities in open connivance with administration authorities”.

In their joint letter, the family members blamed the failure of the administration to address the issues of mining that has resulted in criminal and barbaric acts.

“Society has lost faith in a fair investigation or prosecution of the accused persons behind this attack if conducted by the state agencies,” said the family members, further reiterating on a time-bound investigation by the CBI.

Home Minister James Sangma Ahad had said that there was no need for a probe by the central agency as the government had instituted an independent fact-finding inquiry.