We are considering all aspects to restore peace in Shillong, says CM Sangma
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday said that Shillong is limping back to normalcy and there have been no reports of any untoward incident in the city in the last 24 hours.
"A lot of discussions have been held with different stakeholders, organisations, and individuals to ensure that peace prevails in the city. We are continuing our communication with different stakeholders to make sure that normalcy returns to Shillong and the state," Sangma said, adding that there are a lot of issues that need work in this regard.
And one such issue is the seven-day ultimatum served by the Voice of Mawlai people to suspend the two top police officials involved in the Cherishster encounter. “The representatives of the conglomeration have different opinions. While some expressed satisfaction in the judicial probe ordered by the government into the matter, others are demanding immediate suspension of the police officials. We are trying to amicably resolve all the issues,” said Sangma.
The judicial enquiry, however, had raised a few eyebrows after Sangma appointed Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (MHRC) chairperson, Justice T Vaiphei as its chairman. Some quarters have questioned Sangma’s choice stating that the retired judge is not the best choice to head the enquiry.
“There is no law or rule that bars the chairperson of the MHRC to head an enquiry. Not only would Justice Vaiphie put in his experience and expertise into the investigation but would also analyse the human rights issues associated with the case; that way, the enquiry will have all the angles in the case covered,” the Chief Minister said.
The Voice of Mawlai People had recently stated that they would not like to see any "men in uniform" patrolling the area, given the fluid situation and sentiment of the people post the August 13 encounter. “It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that security forces are present in all required locations; especially in the sensitive areas. We have accepted their request and instead of central forces, we have deployed Meghalaya Police (MLP) in the area,” he said.
In its efforts to restore peace in the state, the government is facing challenges not just internally, but also from external elements. A case in point is the seizure of a huge quantity of explosives from a vehicle at Byrnihat, Ri Bhoi, in the wee hours of Thursday by the Meghalaya Police. Assuring the people that there is no threat to law and order in the state, the Chief Minister said, “The detonators and gelatin sticks that were seized were being taken to a stone quarry in a certain part of the state. We also know the person who gave it, which village he/she is from, and other related details; all the information is with us.”
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