Benjamin Marak, an eyewitness to the incident where NCP’s Williamnagar candidate Jonathone Sangma along with three others were killed in an IED blast on Sunday night, has shared his experience of the horrific moments. Here are excerpts of the interview.
“Yesterday (Sunday), we went first to Jongmegre as it was the last week of campaigning and the people had called our candidate (Jonathone) to have a discussion. We then went to Dorakgre where we heard that posters were put up threatening people against voting for our candidate. We assured the people to not fear and vote in favour of the candidate of their choice. We just wanted to ensure that the people did not have any fear,” said Benjamin Marak, an eyewitness to the incident.
“We then went to Sawilgre after the villagers asked us to meet us there. However, when we went to the area, there was no one in the place of the meeting. After waiting for some time we then moved out with the four vehicles that we came in. The pilot car was in front and then the rest of the cars. The meeting was in a public playground and there were chairs placed but no one was seen around,” he said.
“I was in the last vehicle and the blast took place in front of us. There were 7 people in the vehicle which was hit. After the blast, we all lied on the ground waiting for gun fire. However, when there was no gunfire, we immediately rushed to our candidate’s vehicle. We tried to call back the pilot Gypsy but it left after the incident,” he added.
Immediately after the incident, the supporters, who were with the candidate, called the police after which a police team reached the spot. The victims of the blast were rushed to the Williamnagar Civil Hospital. Three of them were then sent to Guwahati for treatment, though Jonathone along with three others succumbed to their injuries on the spot.