TURA, June 2 � The 12-hour non-cooperation movement launched by a consortium of NGOs in the Garo Hills region passed off peacefully today.
The consortium including Garo Student�s Union, FKJGP, Achik Youth Welfare Organization and Association for Democracy and Empowerment along with NESO had called the bandh demanding for a CBI or judicial probe into the alleged custodial death of one Balsan S Marak on May 20, after his arrest on May 13.
Balsan is the cousin of MLA Rophul S Marak, who has met the Chief Minister on several occasions to ask for a probe into the incident. He has allegedly stated that his cousin was tortured in custody.
The Garo Hills region remained shut down with people staying off the roads. No incident of violence was reported from anywhere. Attendance in most government institutions was minimum to nil as most employees stayed home.
While the district administration has started a magisterial probe into the incident, the State Government has ordered a probe headed by Peter W Ingty, Commissioner of Division for Garo Hills. The report is to be submitted within a month.
Trader kidnapped: A footwear trader was today kidnapped from his shop in broad daylight by a group of militants allegedly belonging to the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA). The incident happened at about 10.30 am, when the trader, one Fozal Haque (35), was in his shop in the Assam-Meghalaya border market of Jekabari near Mankachar.
The militants fired four rounds in the air to disperse the people in the market before kidnapping Haque from his shop at gunpoint.
The plain belt of Garo Hills has seen a huge increase in criminal activities over the past few years and the trend has been growing substantially over the past few months.
A police team rushed to the spot on hearing about the incident but by then the militants had dispersed and fled into the nearby jungles. A massive manhunt has been launched.
Unconfirmed reports have also come of the kidnapping of another trader from South Salmara while he was returning from the weekly market at Rom, near Dadenggre.
Three days back, three unidentified people were kidnapped by a group of militants from near the BSF camp in Praharinagar, about 12 kms from Tura. The whereabouts of the kidnapped people are still unknown.