Twin probes into controversial encounter

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Shillong, Jan 29 (PTI) Facing flak, the Meghalayagovernment has ordered twin inquiries into the controversialencounter with militants on Wednesday last and the subsequentmob fury that forced the release of four arrested militants.

"The government has decided to institute a magisterialinquiry into the encounter and a high level inquiry toascertain the facts that led to the subsequent protests,"Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said after a cabinet meeting lastnight

The government is also taking steps for a high levelinquiry to go into the causes leading to assembly of mobagainst police affecting performance of duty and leading tothe sequence of events, he said.

A mob fury on Thursday forced the police to release thefour suspected militants arrested after the Wednesday�sencounter in East Garo Hills district in which one suspectedGaro National Liberation Army (GNLA) militant was also killedand a huge cache of arms and explosives recovered.

The protesters claimed that the deceased and the fourarrested were innocent villagers.

"It is a fact that GNLA is actively involved in extortionand abductions and is trying to expand its base by recruitingcadres and developing nexus with other militant groups. Thegovernment is committed to protect its citizens," the CMnoted.

"No innocent should be harassed and no let up in our actionagainst the extremist elements can be allowed under pressurefrom extraneous or vested interest," he asserted.

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