Irked by the appointment of the acting rangbah shnong (headman) without the consent of the dorbar pyllun (general assembly), the Residents of Mawpen village on Tuesday staged a protest in front of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC).
Displaying placards, the aggrieved villagers took out a surprise march to the KHADC but were later prevented by the police and enforcement wing of the Council from entering the premises.
Speaking to reporters, a resident of the village, Emdor Mawkhait alleged that the Syiem of Hima Bhowal, Kynsailang N Syiem had abused his powers by appointing the acting rangbah shnong without the knowledge and consent of the dorbar pyllun.
He said moreover the acting rangbah shnong also happens to be the uncle of the Syiem.
“Therefore, we have decided to strongly oppose this irresponsible action of the Syiem and demanded the KHADC to immediately appoint a full-fledged rangbah shnong, who will be elected by the people in the general assembly,” Mawkhait said.
The resident also said failing which, the people of the village have decided not to cooperate or hand over any documents to the acting rangbah shnong.
According to him, as per customary practices, the headman is appointed for a term of five years and when his tenure expired, a dorbar pyllun should be convened for the people to elect the new rangbah shnong.
“But the Syiem has gone ahead with his arbitrary decision to appoint an acting rangbah shnong without the consent of the dorbar pyllun,” he said.
Mawkhait further slammed the secretary of the KHADC for sending a letter to the former headman of Mawpen, Angelos Dewkhait directing him to hand over the documents of the village to the acting rangbah shnong instead of addressing the complaint of the villagers.
“We have submitted letters to the EM incharge Elaka and had also met him on several occasions requesting him to intervene into the matter but instead a letter was sent to the former rangbah shnong,” he said.
Mawkhait reiterated that the KHADC should immediately appoint a new rangbah shnong and to take action against violation of the Hima Bhowal Act by the Syiem. EOM