Day after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Jonathone N Sangma was killed at Williamnagar after militants attacked his convoy in East Garo Hills district, the party has demanded that the matter should be probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). "The case related to the murder should be handed over to the NIA for investigation," NCP state working president Vijay Raj said.
Jonathone N Sangma was the party's candidate for upcoming Meghalaya Assembly poll. The party had fielded 21 candidates, including Sangma for the February 27 poll to the 60-member Assembly.
Following the incident, a case has also been lodged with the Chief Electoral Officer F R Kharkongor demanding adequate security to all NCP candidates.
The NCP leader alleged that the state machinery had failed to protect the people, resulting in the "dastardly and fatal attack".
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma tweeted that the perpetrators of the crime would be brought to book.
The BJP echoing the NCP said the law and order situation in the state had failed and sought increased deployment of central security forces so that vulnerable segments of voters in the state were protected from any threat. "The BJP notes with great concern the unprecedented and first (incident) in the history of the state's electoral politics the blatant use of violence to eliminate a political leader," BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli had said.
“It was a close shave for his (Sangma's) wife and son as he had dropped them first, before proceeding to his next meeting," Kohli said.
Expressing concern over the violence in Meghalaya, specially in the Garo Hills region, he said, "Not only is this unacceptable but also an indication of the total collapse of the law and order claim of the Congress government."
Meanwhile, official sources have remained tightlipped about the killing.
WHAT HAPPENED ON THAT FATEFUL EVENING
Four people, including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Jonathone Nengminza Sangma, were killed while three others injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in poll-bound Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district on Sunday, an official said.
The incident took place around 7.30 pm at Sawilgre village, about 14 km from Samanda Block, when the candidate was returning to Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills from poll campaigning.
According to an NCP worker, who was with the candidate last night, the incident took place when they were returning from Sawilgre village in Samanda block of East Garo Hills district.
"I was in the last vehicle and the blast was in a vehicle ahead. There were seven people in that vehicle. After the blast we all lay on the ground waiting for gun fire, which, however, did not happen. We then rushed to the candidate's vehicle and tried to call back the pilot car but it had gone," he said.
NCP supporters, who were with the candidate, called the police and the blast victims were taken to Williamnagar civil hospital, he said adding that Sangma along with three others had succumbed to injuries on the spot.