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Balsan Marak custodial death: Garo rebel outfit brands Mukul ‘notorious underworld criminal’

Members of Thma U Rangli Juki (TUR) and GSU, Khasi HIlls zone hold a protest rally against the castodial death of Balsan Marak  in city on Friday. (ST)
Members of Thma U Rangli Juki (TUR) and GSU, Khasi HIlls zone hold a protest rally against the castodial death of Balsan Marak in city on Friday. (ST)

TURA: The banned Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) has given three days time for the Meghalaya government to constitute either a judicial probe or order a CBI investigation into the custodial death of Balsan S Marak or otherwise to prepare for a two-day shutdown of the entire Garo Hills region.

“GNLA demands that the government institute either a judicial inquiry or CBI probe within three days failing which GNLA shall impose bandh for two days in the entire Garo Hills,” announced GNLA political secretary Bikdot Nikjang Marak in a statement to the media on Friday.

The outfit has blamed Chief Minister Mukul Sangma for the death of the 20-year-old boy during judicial custody and termed Sangma as a criminal.

“The extra-judicial killing is the result of 2014 Lok Sabha debacle in Garo Hills and killing is orchestrated by none other than Mukul himself. Sangma is a notorious underworld criminal with links to militants,” said the GNLA leader.

Giving a conspiracy angle to the death of Balsan S Marak, who was picked up along with the teenage son of arrested social activist Jaynie Ningring Sangma, the GNLA claimed that the prime target had been the teenager and his mother but the operation had been botched by the police.

The militant outfit mentioned that Jaynie had been vocal against the sex racket in which some officers, businessmen, politicians were involved and she bore the brunt of the government because she had campaigned for former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma in the just concluded general elections where he emerged victorious.

“We cannot rule out political interference in the case and we demand time bound inquiry and the case be placed under jurisdiction of a court outside of Meghalaya,” demanded the GNLA while seeking the arrest of Tura SP Mukesh Kr Singh, his deputy Bruno A Sangma and their personal security officers who stand prime accused in the alleged torture of Balsan before his remand to judicial custody.

The militant outfit has asked for the active participation of medical experts from the prestigious AIIMS, New Delhi and the Forensic Wing into the case and stated that it is not satisfied with the medical report given by the doctor at the Tura district jail alleging possible tampering of the findings.

“Magisterial reports always go in favour of the government because they are the political boss. It is not free and fair. Even the judicial probe into Fullmoon Dhar was not fair,” claimed Bikdot Nikjang.

The outfit also questioned the mysterious deaths of militants from its rival outfit the ANVC-B who were killed in a late night encounter in the outskirts of Tura, at Daren Agal, on January 11th, this year.

The ANVC-B political secretary Ajaju Marak, who revealed the alleged nexus between his outfit’s leadership with chief minister Mukul Sangma was reportedly killed with three other cadres during the late night encounter.

Terming Ajaju’s death as a gross human rights violation, gruesome and cold blooded murder, the GNLA termed the Garo Hills situation under Mukul Sangma as highly aggravated. “He (Mukul Sangma) should own all responsibility. Moral responsibility shall not wash away the precious blood of A’chik jat (tribe),” warned Bikdot Nikjang.

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