Labourers beaten, asked to vacate workplace

Mawiaban industrial estate which remain close after the attck of Nontribal labour

NONGSTOIN: Non-tribal labourers of saw mills in Nongstoin were threatened to leave Nongstoin on the night of September 11 by five masked persons whom eye witnesses have termed as ‘Ninjas’.

The incident occurred at 8:45 PM at the Industrial Estate at Siejlieh, Nongstoin, after the workers had completed the day’s work and were retiring in their quarters.

Five masked persons armed with sticks entered the quarters of the labourers and began beating them without any provocation from the labourers. The labourers who were mostly non- tribals who ran helter-skelter and took shelter in the nearby jungle.

Among the labourers were also some local people. When the masked miscreants saw them they fled after warning all the non- tribal labourers to leave the place or face dire consequences.

Next morning, fear spread among the labourers of other mills in the area. Around 170 non- tribal labourers who are employed in eight mills in the area began vacating the mills and left for their home towns.

At the time of filing this report only about 10 labourers were left behind as they were running short of funds to return home. With assistance from their owners, the remaining labourers will be leaving Nongstoin on Saturday. Speaking to The Shillong Times, the headman of Siejlieh denied any knowledge on the incident until Friday morning.

When asked what he thought about the demand for ILP, he said “I support the ILP cause, however I am absolutely against the use of force to achieve it. The demand should be made in a democratic and non- violent way. Also I would like to make clear that we at Siejlieh would not allow anyone to take advantage of the current situation to give consequence to nefarious activities.”

Meanwhile, pro ILP leaders in Nongstoin denied their hand in the incident at Siejlieh. They also warned all those attempting to take advantage of the ILP demand to meet their vested interest.

Till the filing of the story, no FIR has been lodged against the unknown miscreants.