Ichamati issue: Govt. communicates WB Govt. to ensure no irresponsible statements made by individuals.


With Social media uproar, Meghalaya Government is in touch with its West Bengal counterpart as Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday informed the Assembly that he has requested the West Bengal government and different political parties to ensure no irresponsible statements are made by individuals over the Ichamati issue.

“I have communicated to the West Bengal government to ensure security is given to the Meghalaya House and to different political parties to ensure no irresponsible statements are given by individuals,” Sangma said in his reply to the zero hour notice moved by Congress MLA PT Sawkmie.

This came after a demonstration was staged in front of the Meghalaya House, Kasba, Kolkata by an organization under the banner of Molded and Minority Development Council on October 13.

The demonstrators shouted slogans and displayed banners condemning the alleged discrimination against the non-indigenous community in Ichamati and Bholaganj area.

Prior to this, three demonstrations were also staged infront of the Meghalaya House, Kolkata.

Sangma said that the current imbroglio which has been surfacing in the media as well as social media platforms is primarily an outcome of the unfortunate incident which happened on February 28, this year.

He said a clash took place between the KSU members and non-tribals at Ichamati in which some KSU activists from Sohra, Shella, and other adjoining areas sustained injuries and one KSU activist (L) Lurshai Hynniewta, succumbed to his injuries.

The chief minister said 24 persons were arrested and the case has since been charge-sheeted against 70 persons.

He also informed that an inquiry was also initiated based on the direction of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, New Delhi, as it has taken cognizance of the allegation of institutionalized harassment of women and children in Ichamati and adjoining areas of East Khasi Hills district.

He said the report of the inquiry found that there are no cases of harassment faced by the resident of Ichamati, particularly women and children.

“(However) there is economic hardship faced by the local residents due to COVID-19 pandemic as well as due to non-renewal of trading licenses by the KHADC,” he said while informing that the deputy commissioner, East Khasi Hills as well as DCA department have taken up the matter of non-renewal of trading license with the KHADC.

On Sawkmie’s suggestion on the need to institute an inquiry into the entire issue, the chief minister however assured that the government has taken note and will examine the matter.

Earlier, Sawkmie has also questioned the government’s failure to take action against the former governor, Tathagata Roy, for allegedly inciting communal tension by promoting enmity between different groups while reminding that the law should be equal to everyone. EOM