Shillong: Four Khasi Students` Union activists, accused of setting a tea stall on fire owner a fortnight ago, were arrested Friday from two different locations in Meghalaya, police said.
"Four KSU activists involved on attempting to murder a tea stall owner at Bishnupur Bazaar by setting him on fire have been arrested," Mariahom Kharkrang, the district police chief of East Khasi Hills, told IANS.
Bishashwar Das, 45, was set on fire by masked men who hurled a petrol bomb at his tea stall in Bishnupur Bazaar here Nov 16. Das who sustained 50 percent burn injuries is recuperating at a private hospital in Guwahati in Assam.
Of the four accused, two were arrested from a road near the Eastern Air Command headquarters at Upper Shillong while they were proceeding to Shillong and the other two were nabbed from Nongstoin, the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills.
"This was major breakthrough for police as all the four accused had gone hiding into hiding after committing the heinous crime," Kharkrang said.
The arrested KSU activists have identified as Readyonstone Nongrum, Shemphang Nongkynrih, Peter Lyngkhoi and Johny Sohkhlet.
In a similar case, Vikas Nandwal, a businessman, was set on fire Oct 9 by assailants who poured petrol on him inside his machinery store. Nandwal suffered 60 percent burns and died in a New Delhi hospital Oct 26.
Two Khasi Students` Union (KSU) activists, Wankerlang Jyrwa and Badonkupar Nongbri, were arrested in connection with Nandwal`s death.
Meghalaya, particularly the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region, witnessed several cases of arson since Sep 2 after talks between Chief Minister Mukul Manda Sangma and the pro- Inner Line Permit (ILP) pressure groups reached a dead end.
Over a dozen pressure groups have been insisting the ILP be introduced to contain the migration of outsiders to the state. Once ILP is imposed, every individual, whether Indian or otherwise, will have to obtain a permit to enter Meghalaya.