GUWAHATI: A Trinamool Congress leader who unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections against Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma was among 22 people taken into custody by state police for an attack on the mini-secretariat in Tura of West Garo Hills on Monday evening.

The attack occurred while Sangma, cabinet colleague Marcusie Marak, and senior officials were in a meeting with members of a Garo group — the Achik Conscious Holistically Integrated Krima — regarding the demand to declare Tura as Meghalaya’s winter capital and review the state’s job reservation policy. Tura is situated over 300km from the state capital, Shillong.
Meghalaya DGP LR Bishnoi disclosed on Tuesday that the mob, consisting of more than 300 people, had orchestrated a conspiracy to harm CM Sangma, even making an attempt on his life. Bishnoi said, “Police have found significant evidence indicating that the attack was a pre-planned conspiracy with the intent to physically harm the CM. We have also obtained proof of money and liquor being distributed among the youths on Sunday to incite violence at the mini-secretariat.”

During the investigation, police recovered plastic cans filled with kerosene, matchboxes, lighters, and stones at the scene, he said. “Inciting speeches were delivered before the attack, where the CM was subjected to abuse and threats. The speakers provoked the crowd to cause harm to the CM, even suggesting extreme measures like murder,” the DGP said.
West Garo Hills SP Vivekananda Singh Rathore said the arrested people belong to certain political parties, and more arrests may follow as the case progresses. After analysing video footage, a total of 26 people have been identified in connection with the attack that left 18 security personnel injured.
Richard Marak, the TMC leader, had contested in the assembly elections against CM Sangma in the South Tura assembly constituency this February.
District magistrate Jagdish Chelani has imposed a curfew from 9pm to 5am until further notice. The administration has restricted the assembly of five or more people in public spaces. The sale of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and fuel in jerry cans has been prohibited.
Fuel sales exceeding 10 litres, except for official vehicles of magistrates and security forces, have also been banned. Fuel stations are permitted to operate from 9am to 2pm under the scrutiny of security forces until Thursday.

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