Miscreants attack construction workers in St. Xavier’s Girls’ hostel in Umoid one dies, seven injured

Shillong, Feb 25: One person who was involved in construction of an educational institution in South West Khasi Hills died and seven others received injuries when miscreants attacked them on Wednesday night.

According to police, on the night of February 24, eight construction labourers working at St. Xavier’s Girls Hostel in Umoid, South West Khasi Hills were attacked by unknown miscreants, resulting in the death of one of the workers.

The death has been identified as Raju Mondal (22). The injured were identified as – Aminul Islam (35), Abul Mondl (29), Bahadyur Sheikh (32), Abdul Bari (42), Shahinoor Alom (21), Yeasin Mondal (45) and Amir Hussain (22). All are from Ujanghagrar, South Salmara district of Assam.

Assistant Inspector General of Police, Gabriel Iangrai on receiving information about the incident, police officials immediately proceeded to the place of occurrence to ascertain the facts and circumstances of the incident, and subsequently, a criminal case under section 447/450/324/326/302/34 IPC was registered.

“In the course of investigation, three persons have been detained and further investigation is being conducted to identify the persons involved in this instant case,” Iangrai said.

According to the authorities of the St. Xavier’s College Umoid, a Jesuit institute run by the Society of Jesus, prior to the arrival of the construction workers, the school authorities had sought the approval of several important officials in the state, including the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, the Home Minister (who also has additional charge for Education), Lahkmen Rymbui.

In addition, the school authorities also met the leaders of the various pressure groups, to explain the need for these workers.

They also met with the South West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner and local leaders.

“At every stage they were assured of the safety of the workers, acknowledging that their intentions as an educational institution were genuine and the purpose was not to run a for-profit business. All the workers possessed the work licenses mandated by the state and every procedure was followed,” the authorities of the educational institution said.

The authorities of St. Xavier’s also said that it is committed to the advancement of the local communities and to advancing the educational aspirations and employment opportunities of the youth.

“On occasions when the school authorities, despite their sincerest efforts, have inadvertently overlooked any requirement, they have readily apologized and tried to resolve the problem. However, violence is not an acceptable solution to any problem, no matter what it is. A threat to the life or wellbeing of an innocent worker is not a price that the authorities are willing to accept,” a statement stated.

The members of the Managing Committee have been informed about the unfortunate developments and are working with the Jesuit authorities to find a mutually acceptable solution.

“Until a satisfactory solution is found, the Education Council of the Jesuit Society for North East India has resolved that all work in Umoid will indefinitely be kept on hold, including the running of classes,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma said that such things are being done by individuals who will be termed as criminals.

“In fact if the death has taken place then they are murderers,” Sangma said.

The Chief Minister also assured that those involved in the act will not be allowed to go freely.

“The people who are involved in this will be brought to justice,” he added.

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