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22 witnesses testify before Langpih commission
Correspondent
 SHILLONG, May 29 – The five-day sitting of the PC Phukan Commission, probing the 2010 Langpih firing incident, came to a close here with 22 witnesses testifying altogether.

The one-man Commission was appointed by the Assam Government to probe into the circumstances of the firing that left four villagers dead and several others injured on May 14, 2010. During the five day hearing, the first day (May 24) was reserved for the widows of the deceased – Charles Lyngkhoi, Akros Rani, Columbus Hujon and Denis Nongseij – to record their statement before the Commission.

Justice (retd) Phukan recorded the statements of witnesses the next two days. Yesterday on the last day of the Commission’s sitting here, officials from Meghalaya, which included the Deputy Commissioner S Kharlyngdoh and former Superintendent of Police M Kharkrang of West Khasi Hills district testified before the Commission.

“Out of the 22 witnesses, six were not cross-examined,” counsels for the Assam Government, AM Bujorbaruah and J Roy said.

Today, representatives from two organisations – Khasi Students’ Union and the Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Commission gave oral statements, besides the government officials’ written statements before the Commission. In fact, all other witnesses gave written statements.

The Commission would now hold its next sitting in Guwahati and witnesses from Assam would record their statements.

Langpih, which is known as Lampi in Assam, is an area of conflict between Meghalaya and Assam, with both States claiming this stretch of land. On the fateful day, Assam police opened fire on villagers after a tussle broke out in the village.

Meghalaya Government has paid compensation to the next of kin of the victims and also to those injured. The Assam Government, on its part, appointed the Commission in September last year. The Commission, as requested by the villagers from Meghalaya side, held its first sitting here in Shillong.

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