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Police assaults night bus driver leading to mob violence

Shillong passengers stranded, police vehicle set on fire in GH

TURA: In what can be termed a sheer case of police highhandedness, a Shillong bound night bus packed with passengers was stopped at Goeragre, 10 kms from Tura, and its driver severely beaten up by a police Sub-Inspector in-charge of the Rongram outpost on Tuesday night.
The assault led to an angry reaction from the public who attacked the policemen with stones and set ablaze their new police gypsy parked on the side of the road.
The police claim that their team had gone to Goeragre, less than a km from Rongram, to clear the road of an accident involving a three wheeler auto rickshaw when the incident took place.
However, bus passengers, local bystanders and passing commuters allege that the police official identified as SI Alwin Bamon went on a rampage after an argument with the driver. He is alleged to have boarded the bus and attacked the driver without any reason.
Despite protests from passengers the police official continued to rain blows on the aged driver and allegedly whipped out his service weapon which he used to hit his victim on the head.
Witnessing the incident people gathered and began pelting stones on the police party who had come along with the officer forcing them to abandon their recently allotted police gypsy and flee on foot.
During the unrest some unidentified persons set the vehicle on fire after dousing it with petrol. The fire brigade had to be called in along with reinforcements to control the situation.
The incident also led to a huge traffic jam with close to a dozen night buses that left Tura for Shillong filled with passengers being stranded for close to an hour.
The injured MTC driver who was the victim of police brutality refused to proceed further due to his injuries and had to be taken for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, demands from the public and organizations demanding action against the rampaging police official are rising. The All Achik Youth Federation has demanded that the police suspend the officer and departmental action be taken at the earliest.
Highhandedness on the part of police personnel towards the general public, particularly in West Garo Hills district, has become a talking point for many. Steep penalties being slapped on commuters during vehicle checking in Tura has been an issue for many genuine vehicle owners.
While the speeding underage bikers escape the police dragnet by laying low during days of mobile vehicle checking, it is the daily commuters out on school, hospital or official duty who have to face the brunt of the police during such inspections.

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