SHILLONG: Eight migrant labourers were gunned down by suspected Garo militants in a remote mining village in Meghalaya’s South Garo hills district.

Police said the labourers shot dead on Sunday were working in coal mines in the area.

“The district administration has taken all remedial measures and policemen have been rushed to the spot to verify the exact nature of the killings,” a senior police officer said.

Chief minister Mukul Sangma condemned the killings, said the act was uncalled for and iterated that those involved would be brought to book.

The killings come after a mob went on the rampage after a rumour that a mentally challenged woman was raped by labourers in the same district last week. One person was killed and several vehicles were torched by the mob. The West Garo Hills district administration had ruled out rape following medical examination of the woman, who was reportedly molested.

It triggered a mass exodus of migrant labourers from the Garo Hills after which a curfew was imposed in the plains.