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7 cops hurt in violence during public hearing at Khliehriat
STAFF Correspondent
 SHILLONG, Nov 21 - Seven police personnel, including a woman constable, were injured when members of NGOs created ruckus during a public hearing on expansion of a cement plant in East Jaintia Hills district today.

 According to East Jaintia Hills Superintendent of Police Deepak Palecha, the incident happened at around 11 am when the public hearing began at the old DC office at Khliehriat.

The public hearing was organised in connection with the proposed expansion of the cement plant at Lumshnong.

As the hearing began, members of different NGOs barged into the venue.

Palecha said as per the COVID-19 protocols the public had to register and maintain social distance during the hearing. According to the protocols, only 100 people were allowed to enter the venue in batches. However, the members of the NGOs refused to register themselves and stormed into the venue en masse, which led to a confrontation with the police.

The SP said the members of the NGOs broke police barricades, pelted stones and attacked police personnel with flag poles. Seven police personnel sustained injuries when they tried to bring the situation under control.

The police later fired tear gas shells and stun grenades to disperse the mob. The injured police personnel have been identified as Lesterfield Khardewsaw, Nanditha Sangma, Jason Myrom, Sainlang Jyrwa, Bansynshar Lyngdoh, Kmensar Mawsor and Jigash Sangma.

“The public hearing could not be held earlier due to opposition from certain sections. However, based on a government directive, it was held today and about 1400 people gathered for the hearing,” Palecha said.

He added that the injured police personnel are recuperating in nearby hospitals. “We have made no arrest yet, but we are examining the video footage to ascertain who started the violence,” Palecha said.

The SP said a case has been registered against unknown persons and the investigation is continuing. “The situation is currently normal in the district,” he added.

The public hearing could not be completed due to the violence.

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