Plot thickens, district administration silent

Death of 14 migrant labourers from Assam

Bodies of the 14 labourers are being loaded in a vehicle for transportation to Dhubri, Assam, on Tuesday.
(Inset) The wild fruit which allegedly killed the
labourers at Saipung on Sunday evening. (UB)

SHILLONG: Mystery shrouds the death of 14 migrant labourers from Assam as it is still unclear whether they actually died from food poisoning or was there any ‘foul play’ in the incident.
While initial inquiry indicates that the labourers died from food poisoning but a photograph taken at the place of occurrence gives an indication that the bodies o the labourers might have been dumped there after their deaths.
However, at the moment no conclusion can be reached as police have just started their investigation.
The Meghalaya Police will send the leftover food consumed by the 14 migrant labourers to the Forensic Science Laboratory.
Significantly, Meghalaya Police spokesperson G.H.P. Raju on Tuesday referred to the preliminary investigation report and asserted that there was no foul play.
Raju, however, mentioned that viscera samples collected from the bodies would also be sent to the Forensic Science Lab for tests.
Meanwhile, the post-mortem examination of the 14 bodies was conducted at Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills.
The deceased labourers – all hailing from Dhubri District of Assam – have been identified as Jahirul Haque (22), Md Inamul Haque (29), Md Mafigul Haque (21), Amal Mani Das (23), Md Manzur Ali (36), Md Karim Uddin Ahmed (18), Majimur Ali (18), Md Sopikal Ali (19), Md Hachan Ali (19), Md Moni Hussain (44), Md Mazid Ali (22), Md Shohidur Hussain (21), Md Jahirul Haque (23) and Md Minal Haque (19). ) Incidentally, several attempts were made to contact the East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner for information but the officer did not pick up the telephone.
It is also surprising that the deputy commissioner is yet to announce an inquiry into the sensational case, with questions being raised on the silence of the district administration on the matter.
Meanwhile, a UNI report from Guwahati claimed that the bodies of the labourers were reportedly found lying in a huddle in an open field near the place they were staying.
Family members of the victims told local television channels here that the labourers were part of a group of 23 workers, who had gone to work at a bridge construction site at Lad Rymbai in East Jaintia Hills District.
Some family members alleged foul play, claiming that militants were involved in the death of their relatives.