SHILLONG, Nov 21: Stating that a fact finding inquiry has also been initiated into the recent assault of CSWO president, Agnes Kharshiing and her aide Anita Sangma, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government has turned down the Opposition’s demand for a CBI probe into the issue.
“I would like to state that the government had already instituted a fact finding inquiry into this matter. I do not see the need for a CBI inquiry because the fact finding independent inquiry has already been in the process of getting instituted,” Home Minister James P K Sangma told the special session of the state Legislative Assembly here on Tuesday.
He assured the House that the inquiry will be conducted in an independent manner free from any interference.
The Home Minister’s statement came a day after the cabinet had approved setting up of an independent inquiry which is likely to be headed by a retired High Court judge.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition, Dr. Mukul Sangma demanded that investigation in the matter be handed over to the CBI while opining that there is ‘complete lawlessness’ in the coal mining belts of the state.
“Let there be a CBI inquiry... as there is doubt on the integrity of the people who are posted in the district,” Dr. Sangma said while participating at the short duration discussion.
Expressing concern over the lawlessness that is prevailing in the state, Dr. Sangma also said that there is a lot of insecurity among many activists in the state.
“I have also received one message from an activist requesting please help me I am being threatened. Even one of the cabinet ministers says he is scared to go to his own place (in East Jaintia Hills),” he said.
The November 8 attack which left Agnes and Amita critically injured has raised questions as to how the state has been handling the issue of a ban on coal mining and transportation in the state.
James however, assured the House that the law will take its own course and justice will be delivered, adding that six persons have been arrested till date.
He also said the police must be given time in their investigation so that innocent persons do not get “victimized”.
In the course of his reply, James said his definition of lawlessness was when the state had witnessed 355 deaths which include 39 police personnel and 296 civilians killed in insurgency related incidents.
“But we are concerned about the situation right now that is why we have instituted an independent inquiry to go into the genesis and there is no doubt about the seriousness of this government,” he stated.
Earlier, MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh, who heads the Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment, tabled a preliminary report on the incident.
In the report, the committee expressed dissatisfaction in the administrative investigation and also recommended reassessment of the compensation paid to the two victims by the district administration and process the matter within 7 days.