Attack on Agnes Kharshiing: Meghalaya govt to form fact-finding committee to investigate attack; rules out CBI probe
Turning down the opposition's demand for a CBI probe into the recent attack on an RTI activist, Meghalaya home minister James K Sangma said on Tuesday that the government has decided to form a fact-finding committee to carry out an independent investigation into the incident.
Shillong: Turning down the opposition's demand for a CBI probe into the attack on an RTI activist, Meghalaya home minister James K Sangma said on Tuesday that the government has decided to form a fact-finding committee to carry out an independent investigation into the incident.
RTI activist Agnes Kharshiing and her aide Amita Sangma were assaulted near a coal mining site in East Jaintia Hills district on 8 November.
Kharshiing, who received serious head injuries in the attack, is currently undergoing treatment at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences in Shillong.
"I would like to state that the government has ordered a fact-finding inquiry into the matter. I do not see the need for a CBI inquiry because an independent committee is in the process of getting instituted," James told a special session of Assembly.
Former chief minister and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Mukul Sangma, had pitched for a probe by the central investigation agency, citing "complete lawlessness" in the coal mining belts of the state.
Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh, who heads the Assembly committee on women empowerment, tabled a preliminary report on the incident in the House, expressing her dissatisfaction at the pace of progress in the case.
In the report, Lyngdoh also recommended a reassessment of the compensation paid to the two victims by the district administration.
Kharshiing and her aide were paid Rs 12,700 each as compensation by the East Jaintia Hills district administration, last week.
James, on his part, assured the House that the inquiry will be conducted in a fair manner, free from any interference.
The home minister's statement came a day after the cabinet approved an independent inquiry, likely to be headed by a retired high court judge. He urged the lawmakers to have faith in the administration.
"Six persons have been arrested till date in the case. The law will take its own course and justice will be delivered," he said, adding that police have to exercise caution to ensure that innocent persons do to get "victimised".
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There are many instances where coal miners lose lives in illegal coal mines and such deaths are neither reported nor acknowledged in Meghalaya