Legislators to tour Garo Hills, defuse tension

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 26: In its bid to restore back normalcy in the region, Meghalaya government on Wednesday decided to send a team of six legislators to tour the five districts of Garo hills.
Following the two separate incidents in West and South Garo hills district leading to the killing of nine labourers, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Wednesday convened a meeting of all legislators representing the region for restoring and sustaining peace.

“We have decided to send a delegation of six legislators from Garo hills to visit the different parts of the Garo hills district in view of the need to restore, maintain and sustain peace in the region,” Dr Sangma told journalists after the meeting.
During the tour, the delegation which includes Parliamentary Secretary of Home Winnerson D Sangma, NPP legislator James K Sangma, R Marak, NR Marak and Saleng A Sangma would also be accompanied by religious forum and respective district administrations to oversee peace activities.
Two state ministers Zenith M Sangma and Clement Marak have already left to tour the Garo Hills on Wednesday even as Parliamentary Secretary (Home) WD Sangma has been camping at Tura since Saturday.
Unanimously condemning the killing of the labourers, the meeting has also resolved to jointly appeal to all citizens not to take a communal angle on the situation.
“We appeal public not to misuse the social media on the issue,” he said while informing that concerned authority has been asked to monitor on this regard and take action accordingly.
Appreciating the steps taken by neighbouring Assam, Dr Sangma informed that the government right from Chief Minister, Home Minister and Chief Secretary level has been in constant touch with counterpart urging them to maintain peace and normalcy in their place.
“Our continuous engagement is important as anything happening in border will have ramification on the two states,” he said.
On the mass exodus of migrant labourers resulting from recent killing of the labourers, the Chief Minister said, “Infact it was an advisory issued to district administrations in view of the vulnerability of migrant labourers to their homeland.”
On being asked, CM informed that no one has been arrested in the South Garo hills incident on Sunday but efforts are being made to nab the culprits behind the crime.
On Sunday last, eight coal-mine labourers were killed while three were injured by miscreants in a remote mining village at Garegittim in Nongalbibra area which is nearly 50 km away from Baghmara, the district headquarter of South Garo hills.
Following the Sunday’s incident on the killing of labourers, evacuation of migrant labourers started from different pockets of South Garo hills district to neighbouring Assam.
Most of the labourers are from Nongalbibra apart from Chokpot and Siju areas.
Reportedly, over 11,000 migrant workers have been evacuated to their place of origin in neighbouring Assam from two affected West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills districts, while directions have been issued to all coal mine owners to escort their labourers to the nearest police stations to help them move to Assam.
It may be mentioned here that a magisterial inquiry into the incident has been ordered and report is being awaited.
On Tuesday, the Central government in view of the urgency to tackle the law and order situation in Garo hills, has sanctioned six companies of CRPF and four companies of BSF to assist the state administration.


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