Shillong: A week after a life-threatening attack on Meghalaya-based anti-corruption and women’s rights activist Agnes Kharshiing and her aide Amita Sangma by suspected coal mafia, state chief minister Conrad K Sangma paid them a visit at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) hospital. Sangma also assured all possible assistance from his end.
Sangma reportedly arrived at the hospital around 10 on Tuesday night and met Kharshiing’s family members and the doctors to take stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, Ampareen Lyngdoh, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment, has decided to take up the matter in the Assembly Committee meeting to be held on Thursday.
Condemning the heinous crime, Lyngdoh too visited NEIGRIHMS hospital, where Kharshiing has been admitted, and met her family members on Tuesday.
She also reportedly said that she will be suggesting the committee to ask the police heads to submit their reports on the attack, and the committee will follow up the incident independently from there on.
The demand for an independent probe into the attack on the social activist has been growing louder since the incident.
The activist was attacked in the Kong Ong village at a coal dumping area on the national highway. She was later shifted to the NEIGRIHMS Hospital.
Kharshhing, who is the president of the Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO), has been working relentlessly against the rampant coal smuggling in the Jaintia Hills region of Meghalaya.
Kharshiing came under the attack of the miscreants when she was reportedly taking photographs of some coal dumping grounds. It may be mentioned here that these grounds were created violating the existing National Green Tribunal (NGT) order.
The incident took place a day after the police seized some coal-laden trucks at Mawiong Rim, following complaint lodged by Kharshiing on the issue.
The police has so far nabbed two persons allegedly involved in the attack, and the area where Kharshiing’s attack took place falls under the same police station headed by the officer in-charge who has been recently accused of being hand-in-glove with the illegal coal miners.
Meanwhile, although Kharshiing’s condition has improved slightly, she continues to remain on ventilator support, while her colleague Sangma’s condition is improving by the day.
Kharshiing has reportedly sustained two broken ribs, an injury to her spine, apart from serious head injuries.