Crude bombs were hurled in several areas of the Meghalaya capital last night while two arrests were made in connection with yesterday’s attack on a railway construction site in Ri-Bhoi district, officials said. The crude bombs were hurled at Laban, Nongmynsong, Rynjah and Lumdiengjri areas of the state capital till the early hours today, in which a government vehicle was damaged. At around 9 pm last night, miscreants tried to lob a petrol bomb at a social welfare office at Laban and hurled another bomb at Rynjah police station, an hour later but no damages were reported, a senior district police officer said.
In Ri-Bhoi district, petrol pumps have been directed not to sell loose petrol and all heads of government departments advised to take steps to protect government property, district deputy commissioner C P Gotmare told PTI. “Of the hundreds of activists who made a surprise attack at a Railway construction site at Ronghana village in Ri-Bhoi district yesterday, two persons were arrested for their involvement in leading the mob in the attack,” Gotmare said.
They were identified as Ferdynald Kharkamni, president of the Khasi Students Union (KSU) North Khasi Hills unit, and Aibor Pliar, organizing secretary of KSU’s Central body. The district administration is in the process of identifying all the members of the mob who were involved in the attack and appropriate action will be taken as per law of the land, he said. Meanwhile, the KSU has denied having given any order for the attack.
“They categorically denied of claiming responsibility for the attack although they said the unit leaders were asked to go and inspect the railway construction sites,” Gotmare said. Heavy machinery of the Railways were destroyed when a mob sprang a sudden attack at the site yesterday. Labourers’ camps, four earthmovers, seven dumpers and a vibrator machine were damaged before the fire was doused by the police yesterday.
Gotmare, who held a meeting with the KSU central body leaders last night in the presence of the SP, said that the KSU was “irked” by the construction which took place without getting a no objection certificate (NOC) from the tribal autonomous district council. “I informed them that the land acquisition was undertaken when the old act was in place, according to which there was no need for getting such an NOC,” Gotmare said. The KSU has openly aired its opposition to the construction of Railways in the Khasi Jaintia Hills region on the grounds that it would lead to influx of outsiders in the tribal state.