An anonymous letter has assisted officials in Meghalaya in recovering stolen weapons such as guns taken from police officers during the Independence Day riots in Shillong.
On August 15, three INSAS rifles were seized from a black SUV belonging to the Umshning-Mawkynroh police outpost by a gang of masked people who also vandalized the vehicle, cruised around the city flaunting the guns in the air, and later burned the car on fire.
Unrest situation in Meghalaya
The incident occurred as India celebrated its 75th Independence Day, and rioting erupted in Shillong following the death of a former rebel commander. Cars were set on fire, black flags were raised, stone pelting was recorded in several sections of Shillong, and petrol bombs were thrown at Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s residence during the protests.
After the demise of erstwhile rebel commander Cherishstarfield Thangkhiew, whose family has described his death as a “cold-blooded murder by the police,” there has been an uncomfortable calm in portions of Shillong.
The anonymous letter
Recently, an anonymous letter was delivered to the headman of Mawlai Town Dorbar, with a copy to the East Khasi Hills district Superintendent of Police.
According to the letter’s writer, the three weapons were taken from a group of adolescents who had allegedly stolen them from the police and thrown them into the Umkhrah river.
The search operation
Soon after, a search was begun in the region, and the guns were discovered yesterday in a stream by a team of Meghalaya Fire and Emergency Services.
“The firearms were fished out in the afternoon from a spot near the Umpohliew Bridge across the river,” a government spokesperson said.
The letter’s sender claimed that the guns had been seized and dumped in the river to keep the kids out of trouble.