An unpardonable video of militant atrocity in Garo Hills is circulating large and has taken the online media by storm. This spine chilling video of villagers being beaten brutally by suspected militants was taken by a militant himself who allegedly wanted to make an example out of ‘informers’.
In the footage, militants from the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) are shown thrashing several villagers mercilessly with canes until they fall unconscious. The villagers were hit with so much force that the canes broke. Some were attacked by four or five men at the same time. Meghalaya Police have informed that this took place on September 4.
The Police, The Villagers and The Underground outfit, GNLA, gave different version. But whatever it may be, humans are not to be treated this way. Even animals are not canned like that! It’s disturbing, really disturbing!
You watch and decide!
The police maintained that the civilians were beaten on the allegation of being police informers. In the footage, militants believed to be from the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) are shown thrashing several villagers mercilessly with canes until they fall unconscious. The villagers were hit with so much force that the canes broke. Some were attacked by four or five men at the same time. “They took the footage to show it as an example. But we never use innocent villagers as informers,” Meghalaya Police Officer, GHP Raju said.
The villagers differed on the incident, saying that most were involved in extortion in the name of GNLA and 2 were alleged informers.
“They held a meeting in the school playground with almost the whole village present. 7 of the 9 had been into the extortion business and two others were suspected police informers. They even wanted to shoot five from the group but the villagers asked them not to and they acceded”, said an elderly resident of the village.
Latest inputs from sources say that most of them have recovered from the severe beatings, 3 of them are still bed ridden from the assault.
“They had demanded money from me and we were all aware of their activities. The 7 involved had asked me for Rs 2.5 lakh and had even demanded Rs 50 lakh from a well known contractor in Rongjeng,” another villager added on condition of anonymity.
In a conversation with a scribe from TNT-The Northeast Today, the Senior Cadre of GNLA, Savio Ch Marak informed that the outfit has its own code of Criminal Procedures which clearly lays down that an accused person should get a fair trial in accordance with accepted principles of justice. “The procedure should not be complicated and should be of utmost extent possible, ensure fair deal to the poorer section of the community,” Marak informed adding that the accused is given an opportunity to make representation against the punishment before it is imposed.
In the recent case, GNLA set up a fast track court and conducted open, free and fair trial in front of all the villagers including children where the accused pleaded guilty and the proceedings were placed in record.
The Senior Cadre stated that proceedings were videotaped and sent it a journalist but it reached the hands of the Police who made business out of it.
Marak stated that GNLA, operating under their jurisdiction, carried out the administration of justice, as a curative measure and not to show atrocity. He was of the view that this was the only way thata strong message could be sent to all individuals who were using the name of GNLA for extortion, dacoit, or kidnapping besides being informers of the Police.