Questions raised after lawyer helps wife get Garo status

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
TURA, Oct 25: The recent alleged murder by a lawyer of his wife has raised many questions in terms of how many in the region have been taking advantage of the system and transforming themselves from a Non Garo to a Garo just for benefits.
Jahirul Islam Sarkar, a lawyer by profession as well as the gaonbura of Patharkata as well as the principal of the Patharkata Govt Aided HS School, was accused of murdering his wife after she was found hanging from the fan of the room in which he was present on October 1. While the lawyer is absconding since the incident, his circumvention of law, which allowed his deceased second wife to be declared a Garo has opened a completely new ‘Pandora’s Box’.

According to information available from sources, Sarkar and his deceased wife were married in 2011 after he helped her get a divorce from a tribal man.
However in 2014, he helped his wife – Rezia Sultana, in conjunction with getting a SSLC pass certificate from his own school, to change her name to Saljitna M Sangma. In the process he changed the name of her parents. The name change was allegedly done with the help of the ‘gaonbura’ of Williampur under Tikrikilla PS.
“She did not pass Class VI but he helped her pass her SSLC exams from her school in the year 2014. Further after her name was changed, he even managed to get her a MIDC loan as well as contracts that would do in her name,” alleged one of the victim’s family members.
The birth name of the victim was Rezia Sultana Begum and her father, according to documents is one late Shiraj Ali and her mother Shahiba Khatun. Apparently she passed her promotion exams in the same Patharkata School in which her husband and accused in the case was the headmaster, in the year 2011 though she only passed SSLC with 41% in the year 2014.
Interestingly, the goanbura who helped convert a non Garo into a Garo passed away a few years ago. His successor however has been objecting to the name change.
“How can a person who clearly is a non Garo so easily be allowed to take the name of a clan amongst us? Who signed on the caste certificate and how were there no objections. This shows connivance of criminal proportions by some people in authority, who allowed these to happen despite knowing facts. The matter needs to be probed,” said activist Maxbirth Momin.
Further questions on authorities, who helped with the MIDC loans as well as contracts, were also raised. 
“He cannot be the only one taking advantage of the system. There has to be more and this practice to take advantage of our system has to stop. This is criminal and these people should be put behind bars for their act,” added another NGO member, TG Momin.
The matter according to all who became aware of it, has raised many pertinent questions most of which needed to be answered on an urgent basis.


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