Cheristerfield encounter: Residents of Mawlai to observe black flag day on Aug 15 

Thangkhiew will be laid to rest at the Church of God Cemetery in Lawmali, Shillong at 1 am.

The conglomeration of 10 organisations under the banner - "Ka Sur u Paidbah Mawlai (the voice of Mawlai people) – will observe a “black flag day” on August 15 to express solidarity with the family members of ex-militant Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, who was killed in a police encounter on August 13. 

Thangkhiew will be laid to rest at the Church of God Cemetery in Lawmali, Shillong at 1 am. Black flags will also be put up along the funeral procession route. 

During a public gathering at Mawlai on Friday, the social and youth organisations categorically asked the police to “stay away” from the funeral. “Funeral is a private affair and we do not want the presence of any police personnel at the do. Please let us pray in peace,” said Samran Syiem, a member of Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun, a local youth wing, part of the conglomerate.

The conglomeration has also demanded a judicial probe into the incident and the resignation of home minister Lahkmen Rymbui due to his "failure in all aspects.”

Asked if COVID protocols would be followed in the funeral, the president of Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun, Samuel Biam, told The North East Today (TNT) that SOPs apply to everyone, not just the common people, and are often violated during VIP events. 

“The police force of 10-20 people from East Khasi Hills and East Jaintia Hills breached the SOPs and entered the house (of Cherish). And then, there is the inauguration of ISBT during Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit which was attended by hundreds. Why were the SOPs not followed then?” he asked, adding that the government should set an example by exempting the funeral from SOP protocols.

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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