Screencap from video

By Krishna Medhi

Umthlong village in the Eastern West Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya descended into chaos on May 3 as two individuals fell victim to a brutal lynching by an enraged mob. Identified as Melar Kurbah, aged 36 and Harmendra Kharkylliang, aged 50, both residents of Umshyrwang village within the same district, the duo faced a horrific fate at the hands of furious villagers.

Speaking to India Today NE, MB Syiem, the Superintendents of Police of Eastern West Khasi Hills, said, “It appears the incident took place around midnight when two individuals allegedly entered the woman’s house and attempted to rape her. They were apprehended by some of her relatives, likely villagers, who then informed the sordar, who was at the community hall. Consequently, the accused were detained there. However, the sordar only relayed this information to the police after 4 o’clock. The location is approximately 20 kilometres from Mairang, the district headquarters. Upon being notified around 4:10, I contacted the DC to request a magistrate’s presence alongside the police force. Subsequently, accompanied by the magistrate, we arrived at the scene shortly before 5 am. However, upon our arrival, we encountered a substantial crowd of about 1,000 individuals obstructing our access to the community hall where the suspects were being held. Despite our attempts, they refused entry. The magistrate attempted to reason with them, but within 10 to 15 minutes, the crowd forcefully gained access to the hall, reaching the accused.”

Regarding the victim, Syiem said, “The girl underwent a medical examination last night. Although I have yet to receive the official report, indications suggest sexual assault occurred. Additionally, the presence of the victim’s mother at the scene complicates matters, as her statement remains elusive due to her ongoing trauma. Therefore, we have refrained from seeking her statement at this juncture. Once she has recovered sufficiently, we will approach her for a statement. Moreover, as the victim’s family has filed an FIR, the case has been duly registered. Hence, we are committed to advancing the investigation in the coming days.”

According to police reports, Kurbah and Kharkylliang had ventured into Umthlong village for labor-related purposes intending to load pipes. However, the situation took a dark turn when, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, they forcibly entered a house and attempted to assault two women reported to be a mother and daughter. The incident summoned nearby residents to their aid.

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