Prior to the bye-election, there was a clash in Rajabala Garo Hills during an electoral rally. The final report by the Returning Officer’s investigating team into the Rajabala group confrontation, released on Friday, backed up the preliminary report accusing Congress supporters of breaking the rules and organising a ‘pre-planned march. The Returning Officer for Rajabala delivered the final report to the Chief Election Officer.
“The final report was presented after considering all factors, including video footage and statements from the victims, including the wife and family members of the gaonbura (headman) whose house was stoned,” stated Returning Officer CN Sangma.
Hasan Ali, an NPP worker, and Garoduba headman were not present in his home when the stone pelting occurred, according to the report, and only his wife, children, and other family members were inside. The final report adds, “Hasan Ali’s wife has made a statement that her husband was away from home when the incident occurred.”
However, following the event on Wednesday evening, both the Congress and the NPP accused each other for the group conflict that led in 21 people being injured and the property being damaged.
According to Congress, the fight started when NPP supporters attacked individuals returning from a public meeting in Rajabala town..
The NPP accuses Congress of attempting to deflect blame, claiming that hordes of supporters from the other party targeted their workers’ homes after organising an illegal march.
Three supporters of Congress have been arrested so far. Simultaneously, the District Election Officer has ordered a magisterial investigation, which will be led by Dadenggre Civil Sub-Divisional Officer Jagdish Chellani.
Meanwhile, in Meghalaya, polling for the by-elections to the Rajabala, Mawphlang, and Mawryngkneng Legislative Assembly Constituencies began this morning in a cautious and peaceful manner, following COVID19 rules. These seats have 53,106 female voters and 49,589 male voters.