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Mrigre �witchcraft� victims� family seek re-investigation

By Biplab Kr Dey
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TURA, April 11 - Family of the victims of the infamous �Mrigre witch-hunting� killings which left five people murdered, have sought a re-investigation into the heinous crime after allegations of the police probe not being up to mark.

After the receipt of the complaint from the victims� kin, West Garo Hills police have sought legal opinion before going for re-investigation.

Five persons were brutally killed by a mob of villagers in Mrigre under Rongram on allegations of the victims practising witchcraft in January last year. The five of a family were allegedly killed in front of other family members. The vicims were school teacher David MT Sangma, his father Hedison B Marak, Hallen T Sangma, his wife Bala T Sangma and their son Washing T Sangma.

Police later arrested four persons including the Nokma of the village Lind B Marak, Robson P Marak, Chendal T Sangma and Seminal B Marak. They were later released on bail. Others, however, who had confessed of their role in the murders were not arrested.

A magisterial inquiry by the WGH administration had pointed fingers at the role of the villagers, besides rubbishing claims by villagers of the victims practicing witchcraft.

In a written complaint submitted to SP and DC of WGH last week, the family members questioned the investigation done by Rongram police.

�We were surprised to see a copy of the statement that I gave to the police which stated that I had stated that my mother practised witchcraft and also that I was not present during the time of their murder. I am a witness to the murders and the statement was not even given by me. In fact I have not even given a statement to the police,� said the daughter of Hallen and Bala T Sangma.

The surviving members of the family has been constantly living in fear in the village where their parents were murdered and even had their property confiscated for a year by one of the villagers. It was only after threat of a police complaint that it was returned.

�Most of our property documents were destroyed by the villagers and the Nokma has refused to provide Nokma related documents to us,� added the victims� daughter. SP, WGH, Dr MGR Kumar said, �We have sought legal opinion and will go by the Court. However, the law will take its own course in the case,� he added. Jaynie N Sangma, a social worker, felt there was a need for security to be provided to the witnesses.

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Mrigre �witchcraft� victims� family seek re-investigation

TURA, April 11 - Family of the victims of the infamous �Mrigre witch-hunting� killings which left five people murdered, have sought a re-investigation into the heinous crime after allegations of the police probe not being up to mark.

After the receipt of the complaint from the victims� kin, West Garo Hills police have sought legal opinion before going for re-investigation.

Five persons were brutally killed by a mob of villagers in Mrigre under Rongram on allegations of the victims practising witchcraft in January last year. The five of a family were allegedly killed in front of other family members. The vicims were school teacher David MT Sangma, his father Hedison B Marak, Hallen T Sangma, his wife Bala T Sangma and their son Washing T Sangma.

Police later arrested four persons including the Nokma of the village Lind B Marak, Robson P Marak, Chendal T Sangma and Seminal B Marak. They were later released on bail. Others, however, who had confessed of their role in the murders were not arrested.

A magisterial inquiry by the WGH administration had pointed fingers at the role of the villagers, besides rubbishing claims by villagers of the victims practicing witchcraft.

In a written complaint submitted to SP and DC of WGH last week, the family members questioned the investigation done by Rongram police.

�We were surprised to see a copy of the statement that I gave to the police which stated that I had stated that my mother practised witchcraft and also that I was not present during the time of their murder. I am a witness to the murders and the statement was not even given by me. In fact I have not even given a statement to the police,� said the daughter of Hallen and Bala T Sangma.

The surviving members of the family has been constantly living in fear in the village where their parents were murdered and even had their property confiscated for a year by one of the villagers. It was only after threat of a police complaint that it was returned.

�Most of our property documents were destroyed by the villagers and the Nokma has refused to provide Nokma related documents to us,� added the victims� daughter. SP, WGH, Dr MGR Kumar said, �We have sought legal opinion and will go by the Court. However, the law will take its own course in the case,� he added. Jaynie N Sangma, a social worker, felt there was a need for security to be provided to the witnesses.

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