CM’s effigies burnt as protestors demands for President Rule
Tura, July 21: The Assam-Meghalaya border towns of Mankachar, Hatsingimari amongst other villages on Monday held a 12 – hour road blockade to protest the increasing instances of kidnappings of traders from the these towns in the Garo Hills region by militants. The dawn to dusk blockade comes in the wake of the killing of one trader from Mankachar, who was killed about a week ago for failure to pay ransom, along with more than a dozen others who have been abducted by militants, generally from weekly markets in Meghalaya’s Purakhasia side.
The protestors also blamed the failure of the state machinery under Chief Minister Dr Mukul M Sangma for the rising crimes in Meghalaya and called for President’s Rule to be imposed in the state. The blockade was called by the Mankachar-Hatsingimari Citizens Security Forum.
Protestors held placards to register their protests throughout the border areas and demanded an end to militancy. Some of them even burnt tyres in protest to the kidnapping and killing by militants near Mir Jhumla tomb. Effigies of Meghalaya Chief Minister were also burnt in protest in Kalapani and Diara.
An activist and President of the forum, Samar Chandra Paul, said, “Poor traders from Mankachar and its neighbouring areas frequent Garo hills for business opportunities. They mainly travel to different weekly markets for their survival. They go to interior places with vegetables and other commodities. If the situation continues to be alarming, our people will have no option but to abstain from going to Garo hills”.
“We demand immediate compensation of Rs. 10 lakh for the victim's family. Assam and Meghalaya government should work out the compensation for the poor families, whose earning member have been kidnapped and killed by militants", said secretary, Najmul Haque.
The civil bodies also submitted a memorandum to Dhubri Deputy Commissioner, Khumud Chandra Das, and Superintendent of Police, Mridulananda Sharma, at Mankachar.
Das has assured the activists to take up the matter with authorities in Garo hills. "I have assured the activists to take up the matter with my counterparts in West Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills", said Das.