Tura, Sept 29: The recent violence marred incidents amounting to bandhs and calls for road blockades have hit the state economy hard. Most places within the state have been in the doldrums since the past month and the losses have been difficult to digest. However, if the administration is to be believed, the accountability for the losses caused to the state exchequer will now be realized from the agitating parties bent on implementation of ILP as well as the demand for Garoland.
According to District Administration’s (DA) office of West Garo Hills (WGH), a written circular has been sent from the Government asking for compiling of losses suffered by the state in various districts due to the various bandh calls made by movements for a separate Garoland as well as the ILP agitations. The DA is now in the process of compiling the details of losses to the state as well as individuals affected during the ongoing struggles. The circular was sent during the second week of September.
According to the MMPO Amendment Act, 8A of 2010 states “Whosoever, whether an individual or an organization, or any association of persons either singly or collectively does/do anything by whatever means any act for causing abstention from normal activities by members of the public, employees, disrupts normal life or does any act being subversive of law and order or destroy private and public properties shall be guilty of offence under this Act and shall be punishable with imprisonment for three years and upwards but not more than seven years and shall be liable to compensate the Government, the public and private citizen for the loss suffered by them”.
The Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills, Pravin Bakshi said the compilation of losses is being done and would then send to the departments to consolidate, after which a case would be filed in Meghalaya High Court for perusal. A show cause notice would then be sent to the various organizations after which the law would take its course.
Bakshi said, “We are in the process of consolidating losses suffered by the District due to the frequent bandh calls. We have already had 6 bandh calls made by the GHSMC along with 2 from the ILP. Initially, the agitating parties would call bandhs under the garb of NCMs, but now they have eschewed the nomenclature and are using the term bandh itself. The SC has implied all bandh calls to be illegal and the Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order (MMPO) Act has been formed to account for losses due to the bandh calls. We will be doing the needful in the coming days, though it becomes very difficult to estimate losses due to the expanse.”