An incident of pre-poll violence in Garo Hills has come to light in which a Congress party worker was allegedly stabbed in the stomach by suspected workers of the National People’s Party (NPP) in Charbatapara village under Phulbari constituency in West Garo Hills.
Meghalaya goes to polls on February 27 and the Phulbari constituency has been considered as one of the ‘more sensitive’ areas owing to the presence of mixed populations in the area.
According to the FIR filed by the victim at Phulbari PS, the Congress party members had gone to the village of Charbatapara on Sunday evening when they had faced some miscreants carrying rods, daggers and other weapons.
When the miscreants saw the Congress members, they immediately charged upon them and began to beat them with the weapons they had in hand, the FIR stated.
In the violence, one Israful Hoque of Bholarbitha in Chibinang was stabbed in the stomach with a knife for which he had to be admitted to the Phulbari CHC for treatment.
Israful was later referred to Goalpara, where he is currently recovering in Solace Hospital.
“While the others managed to escape, they caught hold of me and began to drag me to their office in Charbatapara. When a hue and cry was raised, they stabbed me and immediately ran off using the nearby paddy fields as cover,” said Hoque from the hospital.
The incident occurred at about 8:30 pm on February 4 and the FIR was lodged on the same day.
Another victim of the assault, Nur Alom also suffered injuries. When an alarm was raised and the police were called by the villagers, the assailants managed to escape before the police could get hold of them, said the victims.
Confirming the incident, the Superintendent of Police (SP) of West Garo Hills (WGH), Dr MGR Kumar said that an FIR was received and appropriate action would be taken once the investigation was completed.
“We are awaiting a medical report to ascertain the nature of the injuries and action will be taken as per the law. The situation as of now is normal and our police teams have done a flag march as well as area domination in the place of the incident,” Dr Kumar said.
“We have also spoken to people to ensure a repeat does not happen,” added Dr Kumar.
The District Electoral Officer (DEO), according to Dr Kumar, has also been notified on the matter with the Deputy Commissioner initiating a magisterial inquiry.
“If there are electoral offences in the case, action will follow accordingly,” added the SP.
The Phulbari seat is being contested by Congress candidate and current MLA, AT Mondal, SG Esmatur Mominin (Rahibul) of the NPP, BJP candidate Binoy Ghosh and independent candidate Mark Goera Marak and it is expected that there would be a close fight.