The Meghalaya government today suspended the police personnel who allegedly abandoned their service weapons amid yesterday’s violence in Shillong. The arms were picked up by some people who allegedly carried out arson attacks in the state capital.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma condemned the incident saying police personnel’s arms and weapons were as good as parts of their body.
“What happened yesterday was unacceptable, whether on the police personnel’s part or that of the individuals who had taken them. We are very firm on this and will take firm action on this,” Chief Minister Sangma said.
A video of a group of masked people torching police vehicles has emerged since yesterday’s violence. Some of the persons involved were reportedly seen carrying the cops’ weapons even as they drove the automobiles around the city.
It was mayhem in Shillong on Sunday over last week’s death of a former rebel leader, leading to the declaration of a two-day curfew. The eruption followed the funeral of Cherishstarfield Thangkhiew, who was killed last Thursday during a police raid at his residence.
Hundreds of people, in black clothes and carrying black flags, took part in the funeral procession on Sunday, which later gave way to the violence.
As the turmoil spread, some persons snatched police personnel’s service weapons — they are still missing.
Mr Sangma asked all those involved to immediately return the arms and ammunition. He did not reveal how many policemen were suspended but said four personnel were involved, of whom one fled with his weapon and three left them behind.
Referring to the two bombs hurled at his residence, Chief Minister Sangma said such acts were “meaningless”.
“My appeal to all citizens of the state, especially those involved…this is not the way forward. I appeal to everyone that they must remain peaceful and resolve issues in a proper manner. Violence is not the way forward. We condemn it and will find who is responsible for it,” he said.