SHILLONG, July 25 � Staff of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and a journalist were today attacked by a mob of hawkers led by a businessman, Paul Leong, during an eviction drive.
Some of those at the receiving end of the irate hawkers and Leong, sustained serious injuries and have been admitted at the Shillong Civil Hospital. Marcus Lyngdoh, Reporter of T7 sustained injuries during the attack when he was covering the eviction drive. The KHADC staff who were injured in the attack included superintendent P Sohphoh, T Thangkhiew, B Kharkongor, P Khabuli and M Thongni.
The incident happened in the morning when the staff of the KHADC were conducting a raid against illegal hawkers at the Guwahati-Shillong Road. According to reports, when the KHADC were conducting an inspection of trading license of the hawkers and shopkeepers in the area, Leong led a mob, carrying lethal weapons, and attacked the KHADC staff.
In the ensuing melee, Lyngdoh who was covering the incident was also attacked. He was hit with a blunt weapon at the back of his head. Sources said that the incident seemed to be pre-planned as the mob was laying in wait for the KHADC staff.
Two separate FIRs have been filed. One by the KHADC and the other by the Shillong Press Club. In both the FIRs, Leong has been identified as the one who instigated and led the mob.
Meanwhile, East Khasi Hills SP M Kharkrang said Paul Leong and his son Kimfa Marbaniang have been arrested. The SP further said that others involved in the attack are being tracked and would be arrested soon.
The KHADC has been conducting check of trading licenses of non-tribal businesses. According to law, non-tribals are required to have trading licenses to carry out their business.
Over the past several weeks, many shops belonging to non-tribals have been shut down by the KHADC after requisite licenses could not be produced.