Director General of Police, Lajja Ram Bishnoi today said that the Tura violence was a ‘pre-planned conspiracy’ hatched to attack the Chief Minister.
The DGP at a press conference said 26 persons have been identified with the help of video footage from the incident of stone pelting and arson.
“Intelligence indicates that the plan of the mob was to murder the chief minister by hitting him on the head with a stone or bottles,” the DGP claimed stating that that money and liquor was distributed to people on July 23, to create violence outside while the meeting was ongoing.
Stating that the situation is now fully under control, the DGP said, “I categorically state here that we will not spare anyone whoever indulged in the violence and tried to attack the chief minister and cause damage to vehicles of government officials and that they will be put behind the bars very soon.”
He said 18 persons were injured out of which 10 were from Meghalaya Police, a home guard personnel and seven CRPF. Altogether 21 vehicles were damaged during the violence, out of which four were burnt and 17 damaged due to stone pelting.
The DGP said the meeting started at 3:15 pm and continued until 5:45 pm between the Chief Minister and 18 representatives from the ACHIK, AIGU, ACHIK Youth Forum, All ACHIK Youth Welfare Society and others.
“Most of the NGOs were discussing in a peaceful atmosphere when suddenly the crowd started raising slogans, following which the NGO leaders were sent outside to calm them down, but they turned violent and started pelting stones on everyone who was outside,” he added.
Meanwhile, 23 persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in the attack, police said.
Eighteen of them were arrested last night while five were arrest today. TMC youth leader, Richard Mrong Marak was among the arrested persons including Thengsang Ch Momin, Anurag A Sangma, Jeckson A Sangma and Chianing Sangma.
Though the DGP did not specifically mention the role of political parties, a list of the 18 persons arrested last night was circulated in the Chief Minister’s office media WhatsApp group which mentioned that the arrested people belonged to the BJP and the TMC.
As per the list, two women arrested were identified as Belina M Marak and Dilche Ch Marak, both BJP Mahila Morcha leaders.
The night curfew is on and the situation is returning to normalcy. Schools within Tura town were shut today and sale of liquor was also closed. Fuel pumps have also been directed by the district magistrate to operate from 9 am to 2 pm tomorrow under scrutiny of security forces.