Forces gather after a curfew is imposed in Meghalaya

The home minister of the Indian state of Meghalaya Lahkmen Rymbui has resigned amid violence over the death of a former rebel leader. 

The minister called for a judicial inquiry into the unrest in the state and said he was resigning “to bring out the truth”.

The unrest has come about due to the killing of former rebel leader Cherishterfield Thangkhiew on Saturday.

His death led to instability within the capital city of Shillong, and authorities have imposed a two-day curfew, describing it as a “serious breakdown of law and order”.

Videos are emerging of the violence unfolding in the area.

Mobile internet services were also suspended in four districts.

Police say Thangkhiew was killed in a “retaliatory firing” during a raid at his home in Shillong, in connection with an IED blast that injured two people.

According to a statement, the former rebel leader allegedly attacked the police team with a knife as they entered his house and attempted to escape, leading them to fire at him.

They also claimed to have seized ammunition and incriminating documents from his home.

However, his family and supporters reject this and called it “cold-blooded murder”. 

They allege that the police orchestrated a “fake encounter”, an Indian term for extrajudicial killings by authorities.

Protestors threw petrol bombs at the personal residence of the Chief Minister, and incidents of stone-pelting have been reported across the city.

Thangkhiew, 54, was one of the founding figures of Meghalaya’s separatist movement that vies for a separate homeland for its tribal population.

On Sunday, hundreds joined Thangkhiew’s funeral procession in Shillong, while local outfits called for a “black flag day” to mourn his death


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