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MEMORIAL ERECTED FOR THE FIRST MARTYR OF KHLIEHRIAT

Guwahati, Jun. 18. Shillong, June 18: A loving memorial to Shri Protasius Shylla (27.01.1948-06.08.1994), the Rangbah Balang (Church elder)who suffered martyrdom for defending the Church against attacks from vested interests, was erected at the Parish compound.
Fearing that the digging of coal from under the School, and Church compound, would cause the collapse of the buildings, the people of Khliehriat parish with one mind and heart went to talk to the offenders. But they met no one on the spot. That fateful day, 06.08.1994, around 09.45 am a group of policemen well armed with pistols and guns came to the place and ordered the people to disperse. The people were wondering why the police are supporting the law breakers. There was a discussion between the police and the Catholic elders who were assembled there. Then Shri Protasius Shylla was carried away by the police to the police station. But just as he was being taken away one of the policemen shot him point blank on his chest. Then the police ran away. The people took Shri Potasius Shylla to th Khliehriat hospital but the Doctors declared him brought dead. That day there were only the Catholics gathered in the place and there was no arguments among them. Hence it was an unjust firing done by the police perhaps they had been bought off by the coal maffia.

The people assembled reported of the police questioning Shri Potasius Shylla, and his reply was loud and clear, we will defend our Church even with our blood. The blood of this martyr has transformed Khliehriat from then on ward.
The erection of the monument will inspire many more courageous witnesses in our land to bear witness to Jesus and the Church so that many more may believe in him.

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