Shillong, Sept 14: The Opposition has sought answers to the killing of former HNLC general secretary Cherishstarfield Thangkhiew during the question hour in the Assembly on Tuesday.
After a volley of questions by the Oppostion Congress members, the KHNAM legislator Adelbert Nongrum has sought a straight answer to a specific question as to whether the killing of Thangkhiew was pre-planned.
“Who gave the order to arrest and shoot him . They say when I raise issues, I am dramatic but I need straight answers”, he shouted.
However, the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma intervened and asked Nongrum to sit down.
“Please sit down. the judicial inquiry is on…it is inappropriate to say anything now. Let the inquiry come up. The process needs to be followed”, he said.
However, the KHNAM legislator said he is not satisfied with the reply.
Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh, quoting rules, pointed out that when a matter is under investigation, it is not desirable for the MLAs to raise further questions.
However, PT Sawkmie (Congress) pointed out that he had received a reply on Monday that the matter cannot be taken up since it is sub-judice. “If that is the case, why was the question listed today to be answered by the home minister, is it not a violation,?”Sawkmie asked.
Earlier to the questions by the Congress MLAs, the Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said that the police have no right to kill anyone and what happened on the intervening night of August 12 and 13 is a matter of judicial inquiry and the members will have to wait for that.
To the supplementary questions raised by the Congress MLAs -Mukul Sangma, Sawkmie, Ampareen Lyngdoh, HM Shangpliang among others, the home minister asserted that the intention of the police was to arrest Thangkhiew and bring evidence before the court.
The home minister also said the police had credible inputs regarding the involvement of Thangkhiew in the IED blasts in the state. Rymbui, however, did not reply to a supplementary question as to whether his resignation was accepted though he had offered to quit the home portfolio.
Sawkmie wanted to know why the police went to arrest a sick person (Thangkhiew) after sunset and before daybreak violating the rules.
The home minister also did not give any direct reply to the question by Shangpliang as to whether Rymbui was taken into confidence when the operation was carried out on August 13 by the police.
The home minister said the operational aspects were dealt by the police.
“Police have responsibility .Home Minister is not in the knowledge ..Who the police took into confidence”, Shangpliang repeated his question.
Mukul asked whether approval of political department was taken while dealing with a surrendered militant.
“When we are dealing with a member of a militant outfit who had surrendered and agreed to assimilate in the mainstream , there is a procedure. After his surrender , what was the status of inputs regarding his activities prior to the incident on August 13. The political department was supposed to reach out to the surrendered militant to prevent him from carrying out illegal activities”, Mukul said.
In reply, the home minister said all procedures were carried out.
State had intelligence inputs
In reply to the question by Congress MLA Mohendro Rapsang, the home minister said there was intelligence report on IED blast in Shillong..
The home minister said the attempt to arrest Thangkhiew was made as there were inputs of impending blast in Shillong on August 15.
Rapsang also questioned the timing of the raid at 3 am in to which the home minister responded by saying that the police were acting on the incredible information.
To a supplement question by Ampareen, Rymbui said after the Laitumkhrah blast with IED weighing 1. 5 kg, three persons were arrested and HNLC had also taken responsibility . “We are investigating into all these aspects”, Rymbui said.
To a question, he said the field units of the state police had been alerted to take preventive measures.
Rymbui said the government has taken measures to prevent such incidents in future by asking the field formations to gear up prior intelligence gathering.
The core police unit right from the police station level to the beat house/outpost levels have been sensitised to ensure adherence to security measures.
The specialised branches of the police are also undertaking various measures, he added.