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Lawlessness in Umling

Editor,
On Feb 2, 2015 your paper spoke about the horrific incident that took place at Umling the previous day where government officials had to run helter skelter when two of their colleagues were attacked and government offices vandalized and burnt by the coal mafia through their agents and drivers. The second head line was about non- cooperation of the court proceedings by the accused social organizations, relating to the compensation of damages they had caused during their movement for the Inner Line Permit.
Regarding the first report it is observed that personnel posted at the Umling check gates are too corrupt to the extent that they have become disabled in managing the task. Another reason is that the pressure at Umling check gate is so much that it has become a very challenging task to handle the unruly trucks. The district administrations and law enforcing agencies should be strictly regulating the overloading and checking the permits of the coal laden trucks. Had these district officials done their part there would not have been such a bee line of trucks at Umling. The Deputy Commissioner Ri Bhoi District needs to pull up her socks and depute senior officers at the site 24 x 7. This is not a difficult task for her to do as her officers have ample time to leave headquarters so easily for their leisure at Shillong. The ugly incident is a lesson to the NGT by which certain practical directives may have to be considered.
Regarding the second news report it is observed that the social organizations in Meghalaya have become so ignorant of the Law that they require immediate counseling. I would request their advisers ( if they are educated persons) to organize legal awareness camps for leaders of these organizations. Non cooperation with court proceedings has far reaching consequences. The accused may even face imprisonment and attachment of their or their families’ properties to recover the damages.
Yours etc.,
Barikynti L Kurbah
Shillong-14

“Traffic violation penalties

Editor,
The new traffic control system to be put in place in Shillong as stated by the East Khasi Hills District, SP speaks of spot penalties. But it does not state upfront the maximum penalty amount under the CMV ACT. The prevailing fine is arbitrarily imposed by the MLP traffic staff as they demand no less than Rs. 500 even for parking in ‘No Parking’ zone or any simple violation. The CMV act lists different fine amounts according to specific sections of the ACT. The fine for first parking violation is only Rs. 100 whereas the traffic police in Shillong ask for Rs. 500. Police have no right to impose any fine amount but to follow the CMV rules. The Meghalaya Transport Dept. should direct the police to follow the prevailing MV rules. Moreover, the SP of EKH should prevail upon the traffic branches of the district to follow the MV rules and to post the different fine amounts in daily newspapers and prominent locations in the town so that the public know what they should be paying.
Yours etc.,
Dr  H S  Ranhotra
Shillong -3

Modi’s monogrammed suit and Khasi tradition

Editor,
The Rs 10 lakh suit worn by the Prime Minister has attracted unnecessary media comments. It appears that our mindset is to make a mountain out of a mole hill. The Prime Minister being the host has to accompany the most powerful man on the Planet. It is a privilege for our country to have the President of U.S.A as the Chief Guest at our Republic Day celebration. The Prime Minister ought to wear a dignified dress commensurate with the status and dignity of the Chief Guest. The comments on the suit of the Prime Minister are therefore ridiculous. The Americans never questioned the financial involvement of U.S Govt on their President’s visit to India.
Among the Khasis, it is their traditions to show their respect to any dignitary by appearing before them well attired.  This episode reminds me of a Khasi lady who appeared before the Judicial Enquiry Commission appointed by the Assam Govt on the Police firing at Bus stand -Iewduh  (Barabazar) in 1964. The Government of Assam appointed Justice Shri. Nyadu to head the  Enquiry Commission. A Khasi  maid servant working with a family at Laban, was in the habit of carrying a water bottle and a tiffin carrier.  However the Excise Personnel mistook her for a bootlegger and conducted a body search. The passers-by were enraged by the action of the male excise personnel, which culminated in indiscriminate police firing resulting in the death of two persons. This maid servant from Jaiaw appeared before the Commission in expensive attire (dhara). The counsel of the State of Assam (i) Siddhartha Shankar Ray fired questions and asked this witness the cost of the attire and her daily wages. The lady explained that  the dress she was wearing was borrowed from the neighbours, who sympathized with her. She further told the Commission that it was the Khasi tradition to be presentable and well dressed whenever they appeared before dignitaries, more so before the Honorable Court /Commission.  (L) S.S. Ray, later became the Chief Minister of West Bengal and also Union Minister. The Public was represented by (L) N. Dutta Majumder the first Minister of Justice, West Bengal. (L) N.Dutta Majumder came only for a day, and (L) P.C Barooah – former judge of Calcutta High Court conducted the enquiry for the Public, assisted by (L) B.B. Lyngdoh (L) George Hamilton and L. Marbaniang Advocates.
Yours etc.,
E. S, Jyrwa
 Shillong-1

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