Tea stall owner succumbs to burn injuries

ILP violence claims third victim

Shops at Bishnupur Bazar down their shutters as a mark of protest over the death of tea stall owner Bisheshwar Das on Wednesday.

SHILLONG: The pro-ILP agitation sponsored by pressure groups in the State for the past three months has claimed its third victim in Bisheshwar Das, the owner of a tea stall, who succumbed to his burn injuries at a Guwahati hospital on Wednesday morning.

Fifty-year old Das breathed his last at around 5 am in the morning at Nemcare Hospital in Guwahati after battling for his life for seventeen days.

Dr Hitesh Baruah, CMD, Nemcare Hospital, told The Shillong Times that Das, who had sustained 45 per cent burn injuries, had developed severe infection which further deteriorated his condition in the last few days. He had been put on life support system for the past few days, the doctor informed.

While informing that the cause of death was multi-organ failure, the doctor informed that Das was diabetic and his condition had been aggravated by smoke inhalation when he was set on fire.

The body was handed over to the relatives by the police after the post-mortem.

Local legislator Sanbor Shullai informed that the body will be taken to his ancestral home in Bihar as per the wishes of the family and relatives of the deceased.

Meanwhile, as a mark of protest over the death, shopkeepers in Bishnupur locality of the city kept their shutters down till the evening hours.

As a mark of solidarity, the Bihari Youth Welfare Association and the local legislator along with the local Dorbar Shnong would organise a candle light vigil at Bishnupur on Thursday at 6 pm.

Das was set on fire inside his tea stall in Bishnupur by three persons after pouring petrol on him on November 16.

Police have arrested four persons including two KSU members for their alleged involvement in the crime.

Police had, earlier, registered a case under Section 307 (attempt to murder) but following the death of the victim, the Section has been changed to 302 (accountability for murder).

Das is the third person to have fallen victim to the spate of hate crime perpetrated by pro-ILP supporters in the city.

“Initially, we registered a case of attempt to murder against the four accused, but we will convert the case now to murder,” East Khasi Hills district police chief Mariahom Kharkrang told a news agency.

Another city-based trader Vikash Nandwal (44) had died in a similar fashion at a New Delhi hospital on October 26 after miscreants set him ablaze inside his shop at Motphran on October 9.

Prior to this, Vidya Devi Chokhani (74), the owner of M/S Satyanarayan Textile, Khyndailad, died of suffocation two days after smoke filled her room located on the floor above the shop which was razed in a petrol bomb attack on September 26