Rymbui’s letter was not a resignation but a request to be relieved from the Home portfolio: CM Sangma
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday said that he is yet to decide on Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui’s resignation and the MLA from Amlarem will continue to hold the Home portfolio until a decision is taken on the matter.
"The letter wasn’t a resignation. But a request by the minister asking himself to be relieved from the Home portfolio. As the chief minister, I have to look into every aspect of the state's security and overall situation. Therefore, keeping all that in mind, I am examining the letter and will make a decision at the appropriate time," Sangma briefed media persons after a cabinet meeting in Shillong on Monday.
Rymbui had resigned from the Home portfolio on August 15 expressing “shock” on the recent police encounter of the former leader of Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Cherishsterfield Thangkhiew, on suspicion of being a part of a possible planned blast. “This is done so that any inquiry that the government will do (in the case) will be clean and clear and will not render any doubts to the public,” he had said.
Condemning the violence that ensued the clamping of a total curfew in Shillong on Sunday, the chief minister said, “We must try to resolve these issues in a proper manner and violence is not the way. As we have seen many a time in the past, different elements will try to create unrest in such situations. I appeal to the citizens of Shillong to maintain peace." He also warned of stern action against those involved in the violence.
Reiterating the government's stand on the Cherishsterfield encounter, the CM said that the raid was intended to arrest the ex-militant. “In these kinds of operations, things do not always go according to plan," he added.
He informed that the Judicial inquiry committee, that has been set up to probe the encounter, will look into all these aspects, and based on its report, decision and action will be taken. "This committee will look into the role played by every single individual involved. It is a very independent and powerful inquiry, therefore, whatever action that needs to be taken will be decided after it submits its report," Sangma said, adding that the government is currently waiting for the consent of the individuals who have been identified to be part of the committee. "Once the consent comes in, the committee will start its investigation," the CM added.
Reacting to a question on "failure" of the police to handle the situation, Sangma said, to term this one instance as a failure is a "very harsh" way of looking at things. "In the past, the police have resolved many cases with utmost precision. And they have shown the same dedication in this case as well. The unfortunate incident that took place on August 13 was not intentional. The police have successfully averted a lot of untoward incidents in the past and those also need to be considered," Sangma concluded.
(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)
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