South West Khasi Hills district police arrested three persons for attacking workers engaged in construction of the St. Xavier’s College in Umoid.
While names are yet to be disclosed, police said they have been remanded to three days police custody.
Eight construction workers from Assam were attacked by a group of about 20-30 masked men inside one of the rooms of the college while they were fast asleep on Wednesday night. One of the workers, Raju Mondal succumbed to his injuries while seven others were injured.
On Thursday, police informed that three persons were detained. However, last night two of them were released on personal recognizance bond.
The incident has invoked condemnation from different quarters of the society. Questions were raised on the reason of the attack when the college authorities obtained a work permit mandated by the Meghalaya government and all procedures were followed before employing the workers.
Citizens have also expressed their concerns if the Jesuit Society would wind up its works in the village because of the incident.
PHE Minister and Mawkyrwat MLA, Renikton Tongkhar too echoed similar views and at a press conference express regret for what had happened.
“I am saddened by what happened in the area I represent. Violence should be condemned and I hope that justice will be served as per the law,” he said.
Tongkhar said that such violent incidences will make the growth of tourism bleak in the area. While the district requires education and good schools will give students that, he also appealed people to sort out issues through cordial dialogues.
The Minister also requested the school authorities not to stop the construction work of the school permanently stating that there is a dearth of good school in the constituency and assured that such incidents will not reoccur in future.
BJP MLA, Sanbor Shullai South Shillong MLA Sanbor Shullai has also condemned the attack.
The legislator demanded that justice be delivered and called for the government to provide the deceased’s family with compensation for their loss.
Calling the attack at St Xavier’s School in Umoid “sad and barbaric”, Shullai said the incident has put the state and its people in “very poor light” and tarnished Meghalaya’s image as a tourist-friendly state.
“This act is nothing but a show of cowardice by a group of individuals who try to prove their valour by harming, hurting and even taking the lives of the innocent,” Shullai said in a letter addressed to Governor Satya Pal Malik. “Such acts and people should not be tolerated by our or any other civil society.”
He ended by requesting all stakeholders to appeal for peace and communal harmony.
Meanwhile, the Dorbar Shnong Umoid-Shaidshaid in collaboration with the Synjuk Myntri Shnong of Diwah area will hold a public peace rally on Saturday from Umjaraiñ to Umoid at 11 am to condemn the attack.