Meghalaya: 2 held in connection with killing of two youth after anti-CAA rally

Shillong, April 2 (IANS) Two persons associated with a local student body have been arrested in connection with the killing of two youth at Ichamati in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district last week, the police said on Tuesday.

A police officer said that both individuals, arrested on Monday night, are residents of Sohra in Cherrapunji. The police, however, refused to share any more details about the apprehended persons.

The deceased -- Ishan Singh and Sujit Dutta, who were engaged in limestone quarries, were killed on March 27 and their bodies were later recovered at Ichamati and Dalda, respectively.

The police arrested the two youth, both aged 26, after the victims' families filed an FIR with the police accusing the members of the Khasi Students' Union (KSU) were involved in the murder.

The killing, allegedly linked to an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in Ichamati, has sent shockwaves across the region.

The state government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

Earlier, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that the guilty would be punished.

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the incident.

Senior BJP leader and Meghalaya Cabinet minister Alexander Laloo Hek, condemning the killing, said that he is hopeful that the police would take appropriate action against those involved in the murder.

Meanwhile, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in a letter to President Droupadi Murmu demanded a CBI or NIA probe into the killing.

"The irony is that the district (East Khasi Hills district) is exempted from CAA by virtue of being in a sixth scheduled area. It is the place where a pressure group organised an anti-CAA rally which led to the murder of two innocent Hindus by unknown miscreants, as widely reported in the media," the letter read.

Demanding the President's intervention, the VHP said that the killings serve a stark reminder of the reign of terror, persistent violence and discrimination against the non-tribal or minority communities residing in Meghalaya.

"It is utterly unacceptable that the members of linguistic minority communities continue to be targeted and subjected to such dreadful crimes time and again. This racial attack is nothing but a pre-planned move of the so-called 'unknown groups' to instill fear among the non-tribal minorities who continue to suffer the brunt of racism and unprovoked attacks," the VHP said.

--IANS

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