SHILLONG: Vikash Nandwal (34), a prominent trader who was set on fire by miscreants inside his store at Motphran Point here on October 9, passed away at a private hospital in New Delhi on Friday morning.
Nandwal, who had reportedly suffered more than 60 per cent burn injuries, had been battling for life for over a fortnight now. After preliminary treatment here, he was taken to a private hospital in Guwahati from where he was air-lifted to a hospital in New Delhi for intensive treatment.
A pall of gloom descended on the city as the news spread and hundreds of people spontaneously converged at Police Bazar Point in the evening to light candles to mourn the trader’s death.
Police have arrested two Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) activists for their alleged involvement in the gruesome act of pouring petrol on Nandwal and setting him on fire. They are supporters of the inner line permit (ILP) system.
About 68 cases of arson have been registered and 52 pro-ILP members arrested in the state so far in connection with several cases of sabotage.
Ever since the ILP agitation started, there has been a spate of violence, especially in and around the state capital. Many vehicles have been torched and petrol bombs hurled at shops of non-tribals.
There was an attempt to burn down a Durga Puja pandal at Umsning (Nayabungalow) in Ri-Bhoi district on October 11 by hurling petrol bombs. A prominent member of the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People was also arrested in this connection. There have been at least two other attempts to burn down non-tribals.