Conrad Sangma's office was attacked by a mob on Monday night
Last night's mob attack at the office of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was a conspiracy planned well in advance, the police chief of the northeast state told reporters today.
Meghalaya police chief LR Bishnoi said the mob intended to hurt the Chief Minister at his office in Tura while he was talking to some civil society groups over their demand for making Tura the winter capital.
Just after the attack that left 18 security personnel injured, Mr Sangma and the leaders of the civil society groups had expressed surprise as the people who started the attack did not belong to their organisations. This was the first indication that the mob came from outside, as the Chief Minister and the civil society leaders were peacefully discussing the winter capital matter.
The police chief said money and liquor had been distributed on July 23 near the Chief Minister's office, where the meeting was taking place, to create trouble and spark violence.
"The mob attacked the CMO (chief minister's office) in Tura when the Chief Minister was having a meeting with 18 representatives from NGOs," the police chief said.
"The meeting started at 3.15 pm and continued till 5.45 pm. It was a long meeting where the discussions basically concentrated on the demands of the NGOs. There were two demands, specifically the first was on making Tura the winter capital of Meghalaya, and the other was on the implementation of the reservation policy or roster system," Mr Bishnoi said.
"Most of the NGOs were discussing in a peaceful atmosphere when suddenly the crowd started raising slogans, following which the NGO leaders were sent outside to calm them down, but they turned violent and started throwing stones on everyone," he added.
The NGO leaders also told Mr Sangma that they saw some people in the crowd who were not part of any discussion or protest.
The police had to lathi-charge the mob, which dispersed after two hours.
Mr Bishnoi said the mob threw stones, damaged 21 vehicles, of which they set four on fire. Eighteen people were injured - 10 from Meghalaya Police, one Home Guard and seven Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.