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Agnes Kharshiing attacked, condition critical
STAFF CORRESPONDENT & NEWMAI NEWS
 SHILLONG, Nov 8 - Social activist and president of Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO), Agnes Kharshiing and her friend Amita Sangma were attacked today by a mob in the border areas of East-West Jaintia Hills districts in the coal belt area where she had gone to witness the illegal coal mining activity going on.

The incident happened at around 1 pm today when Kharshing and her friend went to the area. A mob attacked Kharshiing and her friend with shovels and other weapons, according to initial reports received here.

She was found in an unconscious state in an area called Sohshrieh in Tuber village at the border. The police together with local residents rushed Kharshiing to Jowai Civil hospital. Later, she was rushed here to the State Capital for further treatment at NEIGRIHMS.

Her condition according to reports is stated to be serious with head injuries.

Kharshiing has been vocal against the illegal coal mining going on in Jaintia Hills despite the coal mining ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal. She is also an RTI activist.

Confirming the attack, EJH district police chief Silvester Nongtyngnger said that upon receiving information about the assault on the activist at around 1.30 pm, two police teams from the SP’s office and Ladrymbai beat house were immediately pressed into action.

“Our team found both of them (Kharshiing and Sangma) in critical condition after being attacked by a mob and they were immediately rushed to the hospital for medical attention,” he said.

Nongtynger further informed that a case has been registered and police are making all out efforts to identify the culprits. Nongtyngnger said that he is yet to know the purpose of the activist’s visit to the district. “She (Kharshiing) did not inform me about her visit,” he added.

Cm condemns attack: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has strongly condemned the attack on Kharshiing and her team in Jaintia Hills today.

In a message, Sangma said: “MDA Government strongly condemns the attack on Agnes Kharshiing and her team, who were in Jaintia Hills today. We have issued necessary directions to the police and district administration to investigate the matter and arrest those behind the attack.”

He said that the “Civil Society plays an important role in a democratic system as they are instrumental in highlighting the concerns of the people. Violence in any form will not be tolerated and the government will take all necessary steps to ensure that those behind the attack are brought to justice.”

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