One person was killed and several injured in mob violence that erupted in Tura,the headquarter town of West Garo Hills in Meghalaya,Friday evening over rumours that a mentally retarded tribal girl was allegedly raped by some migrant labourers. As angry mobs vandalised shops and targeted non-tribal people,the authorities clamped an indefinite curfew in the town and night curfew in the entire district.
Several hundred non-local people working in Tura and other parts of the district meanwhile have fled to their respective districts in adjoining Assam,with West Garo Hills SP M K Singh putting the number of fleeing persons at around 2,500. The administration has provided transport to people who wanted to leave, Singh said. This came even as medical examination of the girl ruled out rape.
Singh said while police resorted to firing in the air to disperse the mobs,the body of one person,believed to be one of the five who allegedly tried to rape the girl,was recovered. Two others were rescued from the mob which had mercilessly beaten them up. The culprits are said to be migrant labourers from adjoining Dhubri district in Assam.
Medical reports have confirmed that there was no rape committed on the girl. There was,however,definitely an attempt to molest her, the police officer said over the telephone from Tura.
Angry mobs that went on a rampage in the town after rumours of the alleged rape spread around 6.30 pm on Friday. People also pelted stones at shops and the government hospital. Two doctors were assaulted,while a police vehicle was set ablaze.
Meanwhile,a BSF press note issued from Shillong said the BSF had not only come out in aid of the civil administration to control the situation,but had also provided shelter to about 250 migrants fleeing the district. The BSF is providing assistance like shelter,food and security to approximately 250 members of the minority community who have taken refuge on BSF campuses at Prahari Nagar and Dhanakgiri at Tura,and at Gasuapara and Kilapara outposts, the press note said.
Tura and the Garo Hills have been tense over the past few days over the rape of two girls both siblings allegedly by a sub-inspector,who escaped from custody. Nurul Islam, was allegedly allowed to escape by his colleagues and has remained traceless since June 2.