Shillong, Feb 8 (IANS) The Meghalaya government Friday announced compensation of Rs.7.5 lakh each to the next of kin of two jail officials killed at Williamnagar jail in the state's East Garo Hills district earlier this month.
"An ex-gratia payment of Rs.7.5 lakh each will be given to the next of kin of assistant jailor Neil Warjri and warder Sharai Singh Thabah who were killed by rebels," Chief Secretary W.M.S. Pariat told IANS.
He said the family of the two slain jail officials would continue to avail the monthly salary till the time the officials would have retired.
Pariat said a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident. Additional District Magistrate M.K. Marak, who is heading the probe, will submit his findings within a month, he said.
The Khasi Students Union (KSU) Friday staged a black flag march here as part of their protest against the two jail officials' killing.
Several civil society groups who participated in the march demanded that the rebel outfits should clarify the grounds on which the two jail officials were killed.
Police said a group of five to eight heavily armed rebels of the B faction of the A'chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC-B) stormed the Williamnagar jail in East Garo Hills district and shot dead Warjri and injured Thabah Feb 2. Thabah died in hospital the following morning.
Police also claimed the attackers were led by ANVC-B militant commander Singbirth N. Marak alias Norok. However, the ANVC-B has denied its involvement and blamed rebel outfit, the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), for carrying out the attack.
Recently, Norok was granted bail after he was arrested for the attack on former deputy chief minister and state Congress working president Deborah C. Marak last year.
Meghalaya, especially the Garo Hills region, is said to be a safe haven for various northeast-based militant groups, including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), the United Liberation Front of Asom, and a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland.