TURA | July 11, 2019:

In protest against the alleged extortion attempt by a student body and the assault on a trader, the committee of Williamnagar market on Thursday closed down the entire market causing much inconvenience to the general public.

The closure comes after a powerful student body in Garo Hills — Garo Students’ Union (GSU) was alleged of extortion and assaulting a barber on Wednesday.

An FIR was also filed by the Williamnagar market committee in this regard.

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According to the police, the secretary of Williamnagar Main Market Merchant Association, Lahitson N Marak had alleged that GSU had demanded money from each shop which was opposed by the merchants.

The FIR further stated that the assault on a barber by student members was over non payment of the money.

“The market committee secretary filed the police FIR against the extortion demand and assault of the barber and we have registered a case,” East Garo Hills superintendent of police, R T G Momin said.

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Meanwhile, the GSU leadership in Williamnagar has denied the accusations of extortion.

“The barber was called to our office because we wanted to verify his credentials since he had come from outside and was not willing to produce any documents when we had previously asked him,” said GSU president of East Zone Siljrang Marak.

He denied the assault claims and said that as a student union it was their duty to check for any possible signs of influx.

Meanwhile, the GSU along with the FKJGP, AAYF, AYC and Indigenous Citizens Forum of Simsanggre (ICFS) jointly filed a counter FIR against
the secretary of Williamnagar market Committee accusing the secretary of violating a high court directive which had banned bandhs and any form of closure that affects people’s lives.

The market is expected to open on Friday.


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