9 boys out on picnic attacked by mob at Pashang in East Khasi Hills over suspicion of being ‘menshohnoh’, a practitioner of black magic; 1 killed, 2 others injured
Shillong: A 25-year-old youth, Macmilan Kharshandi, was allegedly lynched over suspicion of being menshohnoh (practitioners of black magic) at Pashang in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on Sunday evening. While six youths managed to flee to the nearby jungle to save themselves, the remaining two were left behind and were allegedly thrashed by the mob.
According to reports, the group of nine youths from nearby Madanryting town of East Khasi Hills lost their way while coming back from Syntung on Sunday evening. The youths had gone to Syntung for a picnic and did not know that things would take an ugly turn while returning from the spot.
Of those injured, Teibor Kharbangar was severely bruised on the face with a head injury, while Ricky Dkhar also suffered a head injury. The two were admitted to the Civil Hospital in Shillong.
Fighting to open his bruised eyes and interact with the media, Kharbangar said that despite several attempts to let the mob know that they had lost their way, they ended up getting brutally thrashed.
Dkhar said that the mob was a huge one and they had gathered there to ask where they had come from. “While returning from Syntung, we were heading back to Shillong, but we lost our way. Realising this, we decided to reverse, but on the way we noticed boulders placed on the road. We asked the people guarding there and they said that they were on the lookout for menshohnoh in a red car. We said that we lost our way and asked them to let us go. They let us go but from a distance, we realised that a mob had gathered there, armed with rods and sticks. They stopped us and started to attack us,” said Dkhar.
Dkhar added that they got frightened and drove off. However, while abandoning the car and fleeing from the spot to hide themselves in the jungle, the mob caught up and attacked him.
“I was the one driving the car; they dragged me out of the car after pelting stones. The mob thrashed me and was only attempting to kill me. As I was mercilessly being beaten, I pretended to be dead and held my breath for as long as I could. The mob stopped beating me and threw bottles on me and called me a menshohnoh,” said Kharbangar.
The six boys who managed to hide in the jungle, could come out alive only on Monday morning. The boys saw that by then, the cops were on the road and were able to get out of the spot.
According to superstitious beliefs, menshohnoh are said to be 'killers' hired by worshippers of U Thlen, a serpent, to kill people in order to feed their blood to the evil spirit for wealth and prosperity.
Meanwhile, East Khasi SP Claudia A Lyngwa said that the police received the information about the incident late on Sunday evening when one of the doctors informed the police about the incident.
"On reaching the spot, we found that one of them was already dead while the other two were seriously injured. We rushed to bring the two injured to Shillong Civil Hospital,” Lyngwa said.
According to Lyngwa, rumours had spread in the area that there was a vehicle of menshohnoh which was moving around in the area.
The SP informed that the second police team which was behind began to search the six others who were hiding in the nearby forest.
“We did manage to call them. But they were not able to tell the police their exact location. It was only early in the morning they managed to rescue all the six youths who were hiding in the nearby forest,” said Lyngwa.
Lyngwa said that the police will have to make an arrest of the people who are behind this attack against the nine boys which led to death of one of them.
“People cannot just take law into their own hands. It is really unfortunate that such incident is taking place,” she said.
Meanwhile, home minister, Lahkmen Rymbui said that he will seek a report from the police on the incident.