GSU says Army should not avoid punishing ‘erring’ personnel
In yet another twist to the Kharkutta killings, the Army has reportedly offered financial compensation and jobs to family members of the deceased – Elprius Momin and Sweetbirth D Marak – who were gunned down on the night of November 25 in Kharkutta, North Garo Hills in a case of `mistaken identity`.
"We were told by the relatives of the deceased that a meeting was held recently at the Kharkutta Inspection Bungalow in which an Army Colonel was present, along with the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police of North Garo Hills. The local MLA of Kharkutta and the family members of the deceased were also present in the meeting where the Army offered financial compensation and jobs to one member of each of the families of the Kharkutta killing victims," Sengsrang Momin, general secretary of Kharkutta unit of the Garo Students` Union, told News.
According to Momin, the Army also reportedly offered to pay compensation as immediate relief, besides financial assistance for education of the son of Sweetbirth D Marak.
The meeting, it was learnt, was reportedly held on Monday at around 4:30 pm at the Inspection Bungalow. DC of North Garo Hills, SC Sadhu and SP, Ramesh Singh, both confirmed the meeting.
"The Army, represented by Colonel Himangshu Rawat and another junior official, discussed ways and means in which they could extend aid to the family members of the deceased," Sadhu said.
Significantly, after the meeting, the family members of the deceased reportedly met the GSU members of the Kharkutta unit, seeking the student body`s view on the whole issue.
"We told the family members that we will have to discuss with all other groups who had launched the agitation seeking justice for the deceased and only then, we would be able to communicate our view in this regard," Momin said.
The GSU leader, however, said, "We would like to assert that by offering compensation and jobs, the Army should not wash its hands off giving exemplary punishment to its erring personnel. We are firm on our demand that the guilty should be punished for killing two innocent persons."
Despite repeated attempts, Army spokesman Colonel Suneet Newton could not be reached for comment.
NPP leader Conrad Sangma welcomed the offer of compensation and jobs for the deceased`s kin, but asserted that justice will have to be given to the families of the victims by punishing the jawans responsible for the deaths.