Surrenderred HNLC leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew
Cheristerfield Thangkhiew.

The Federation of Khasi States has written a letter to Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma and his deputy Prestone Tynsong expressing concern over the death of surrendered HNLC leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew in police firing.

Meghalaya police said Cheristerfield Thangkhiew was killed during an encounter in the wee hours of Friday.

Police officials said a joint team of East Jaintia Hills police and East Khasi Hills police raided the house of the surrendered HNLC leader, Chesterfield Thangkhiew at around 3 am on Friday at Kynton Massar in Mawlai in connection with the recent blasts in the state.

“We are shocked to learn through news reports of the early morning Meghalaya Police raid” on August 13, 2021 “resulting in the firing and death of surrendered Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, former general secretary of HNLC,” said the letter issued by Federation of Khasi States adviser & spokesperson John F Kharshiing.

Also read: Meghalaya: Surrendered HNLC leader Chesterfield Thangkhiew dies in ‘retaliatory’ police firing

“We recall that on 18th October 2018, the Meghalaya Police held a special publicised function wherein the former general secretary, HNCL surrendered before the Deputy Chief Minister. It was a sigh of relief for the citizens of Meghalaya to witness such an important occasion, which everyone hoped would strengthen the peace process in Meghalaya,” the letter reads.

“However, today we are pained and shocked to learn of the Meghalaya Police operation during the wee hours of 13 August 2021 raiding the house of the already surrendered former General Secretary of the HNLC leading to an encounter which has resulted in his death,” Kharshiing writes.

Also read: Ex-HNLC chairman Julias Kitbok Dorphang convicted in rape case, picked up and transferred to Nongpoh jail

As per news reports, his two sons, who were present were also taken by the police, he stated.

“We condemn such blatant unwarranted misuse of police force given the fact that this individual had surrendered on October 18, 2018 in a function felicitated by Meghalaya Police themselves,” the letter says.

“When this individual was already a person under the surrendered program of the Meghalaya Police what was the necessity to raid his house at such hours leading to his being killed due to an alleged attempt to attack with a knife.”

“Meghalaya Police could have easily summoned him or conducted a raid during the day given the fact that he was already integrating himself in society,” the Federation of Khasi States adviser said.

“We strongly urge and request that an immediate judicial inquiry be constituted by the State Government to ascertain and investigate the facts of this mysterious police encounter which is causing great concern and anguish in the minds of the people of the State as the people today are questioning the governance capability of the NPP led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance especially on the police department being unable to maintain the rule of law enforcement on a number of issues,” the letter reads.

“We look forward to the state government’s immediate attention on the above important issues and the restoration of the rule of law,” Kharshiing added.

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