5 held on charge of abetting cop's suicide

Daloi is also a village chief of Sohkyrbam Domphlang village and involved in running a toll gate of the Hima Nongkhlaw.

Shillong: Five persons, including a state civil servant and a village chief, were arrested on charge of being involved in 'abetting' the suicide of a police officer in Meghalaya earlier this year, police said today.

"We have come to the conclusion that the five persons were involved for abetting the suicide of Sub-inspector P J Marbaniang," East Khasi Hills District S P (City) Vivek Syiem who heads the Special Investigation Team probing the case, said here.

The five arrested included a Meghalaya Civil Service officer who is the block development officer of Jirang - Grandwill Harly Passah, three Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) leaders - Centerwell Daloi, Lawyer Syngkli and Shemphang Nongtri - and another person Coming Kharbani, he said.

Daloi is also a village chief of Sohkyrbam Domphlang village and involved in running a toll gate of the Hima Nongkhlaw. In a 974-page chargesheet of the SIT which will be placed before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate tomorrow, the SIT has also included the statements of as many as 123 people from the area.

"The accused are people of influence in the area and it is a fact that (L) Marbaniang had detained 32 coal-laden trucks illegally plying in the area on the intervening night of January 23 and 24," Syiem said.

The accused had exerted pressure on the police officer to facilitate the movement of illegal movement of trucks from West Khasi Hills District to Sukurbira bordering Assam, forcing the officer to take his own life, Syiem said.

SI P J Marbaniang had joined as in-charge of Patharkhmah police outpost in Ri Bhoi district when he was found lying inside his official quarter with a gunshot on his head on January 24 earlier this year. 

On February 3, the state government tasked the SIT to probe into the incident and submit a report within 90 days. The Meghalaya High Court had on September 22 last ordered the SIT to complete the investigation immediately.

IGP in charge Eastern Range, who is also the supervisor officer of SIT, had also assured the court that the final report will be submitted within 25 days. Meanwhile, Syiem said six separate FIRs have also been filed against 30 government officials, including police and officials of different department, by the SIT in connection with illegal collection from coal-laden trucks.

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