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Officials depose in labourers� death case

By The Assam Tribune

SHILLONG, April 21 � Meghalaya government officials have deposed before Assam Additional Chief Secretary Shyam Lal Mewara who began his independent probe into the death of 14 labourers at a remote Umphum village in East Jaintia Hills district, officials said today.

The officer has recorded statements of the police officer who conducted the inquest of the deceased on April 6, the contractor and the village headman yesterday, they said.

On April 6 this year, 14 labourers hailing from Dhubri district were found dead in their sleep at a camp at Umphum near Saipung and police said they died after consuming poisonous wild fruits the previous night. Police have also handed Mewara a copy of the post mortem report which indicated that these labourers died due to food poisoning while ruling out any foul play, a senior home official told PTI.

The Assam Additional Chief Secretary will also conduct a spot inquiry at Umphum where the incident took place and if necessary record statements of more people in the village, the official said.

While the death of these labourers has sparked protests in Assam, Meghalaya Chief Secretary P Barkos O Warjri has assured all assistance and cooperation to his counterpart in Assam, Jitesh Khosla, in connection with the case. A high level police inquiry headed by IGP A Sun is yet to submit its report on the incident. � PTI

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