Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday asked state’s Additional Chief Secretary Shyam Lal Mewara to inquire into the circumstances leading to the death of 14 labourers, hailing from Assam, that occurred in Meghalaya on Sunday.
Official sources here said Gogoi said a formal request to the Meghalaya government was being made for handing over the case to the central agency. Altogether 14 persons from Dhubri district in Assam, who were working under a contractor in a road construction project in East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya were found dead in their make-shift camp last Sunday, with preliminary reports saying it was a case of food poisoning.
The 14 persons were among a group of labourers from Dhubri district in western Assam who had gone to work on a road construction project in a remote village in East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya.
While the bodies of the deceased were taken to Dhubri district early Wednesday morning, local groups blocked highways and demonstrated, demanding a thorough inquiry into the incident as also a fresh post mortem examination. The authorities in Assam in fact conducted post mortem examination of all the bodies before they were handed over to the respective families for burial.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla has taken up the matter with his Meghalaya counterpart PBO Warjiri to ascertain the exact reasons behind the death of the 14 persons.
Gogoi also announced a cash assistance of Rs one lakh to the next of the kin of the each of the deceased.