Meghalaya Police on Tuesday arrested Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Richard M Marak for instigating the crowd that attacked Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma's office in Tura town on Monday evening.
Earlier on Monday evening, a mob of more than 1,000 people surrounded the CM's Secretariat and pelted it with stones. Sangma was holding a meeting with the Achik Conscious Holistically Integrated Krima (ACHIK) and Garo Hills State Movement Committee (GHSMC) at the time. They were on fast to demand the state government' to adopt Tura town as the winter capital of the state. Eighteen police personnel were injured in the incident.
So far, a total of 19 persons have been arrested in the case, including two women wing leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and several members of TMC.
#WATCH | Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma was having discussions with agitating organisations based in Garo-Hills who are on a hunger strike for a winter capital in Tura: CMO PRO— ANI (@ANI) July 24, 2023
Meanwhile, a crowd (other than agitating groups) gathered at the CMO in Tura and started pelting stones.… pic.twitter.com/EqUhQDwjtl
TMC's Marak is a close aid of former Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma, reported PTI, adding that he was arrested after a manhunt was launched following the vandalism, arson, and attack on the CM's office.
"We have arrested Richard M Marak. He is among the 19 people arrested till date for their role in vandalism, arson, and attack on Chief Minister's secretariat yesterday night," said Director General of Police LR Bishnoi, as per PTI, adding that Marak was behind instigating the crowd besides distributing money on July 23, a day before to create trouble.
Marak had contested the Assembly election against Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma as a TMC candidate and lost the election, reported PTI.
Among the 19 arrested, two are the members of BJP Mahila Morcha. They are identified as Belina M Marak and Dilche Ch Marak.
Two Trinamool Congress leaders who were also part of the crowd and who had instigated the mob to turn violent have been identified but they are on the run, the police officer said, as per PTI.
Eighteen police personnel were injured in the attack, reported PTI, adding that Sangma has announced Rs 50,000 ex-gratia relief to the injured policemen.
A night curfew was also announced in Tura town on Monday night, reported PTI.
District Deputy Commissioner Jagdish Chelani has asked all educational institutions within Tura Municipal Area to remain shut on Tuesday as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of the volatile situation, a district official told PTI.
Meanwhile, BJP president Ernest Mawrie has issued a statement condemning the incident and said a disciplinary committee will be asked to submit a report against those involved within 15 days time, reported PTI.
"The party did not endorse any form of violent protest and neither had the party issued any directive to its mahila morcha to participate in any such protest," Mawrie said, as per PTI.