President of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), South West Khasi Hills District, Forwardman Nongrem today denied involvement of his members and stated that they are being “framed and made soft targets” in the Umoid attack.
KSU president of Diwah Unit, Shanborlang Kharbani and his member, Disparland Kharbani including Dance Daniel Myrthong a former member of the union were arrested by police for their involvement in Wednesday’s attack on eight construction workers at St. Xavier’s College, Umoid in which one died.
“I think our members have been framed as usual and made soft targets this time as well like in the past. I find it hard to believe that our members are involved because the KSU has always fought for rights democratically,” he told Highland Post.
Nongrem said the KSU would check documents of non-Khasi labourers coming to the district. “We first check for valid documents and if labourers don’t possess any, we inform the police and they do the needful,” he said.
The district president also stated, “We check documents in broad daylight and we don’t go around masking and assault during the night. We don’t take the law into our hands.”
He said the KSU condemns the attack the labourers and added, “The fact remains that we have not instructed anyone to be involved in such acts.”
Meanwhile, Meghalaya police has appealed to the general public to refrain from taking the law into their own hands or breach communal peace and harmony in the State, as stringent action under relevant provisions of law will be taken against them.
Eight workers from Assam who were engaged in construction of the administrative block and girls’ hostel of St. Xavier’s College were attacked by a group of about 20-30 masked men inside one of the rooms while they were fast asleep on Wednesday night. One of the workers, Raju Mondal succumbed to his injuries while seven others were injured.
Following the incident, the Education Council of the Jesuit Society for North East India has indefinitely put all works in Umoid on hold including the running of classes.