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The guilty must be punished.

Editor,

Under the Indian Penal Code the receiver of stolen property is deemed as guilty as the criminal who sells such property. So how do people steer clear of such a crime? Most law abiding citizens depend on sheer common sense for not indulging in such offences. Firstly one is always suspicious of any offer for goods or property that is well below the prevailing market rate and for which no official receipt is likely to be issued. Such offers stink and our hackles of doubt and distrust are immediately roused.  Secondly, those who are able to spurn greed and the desire to get something for nothing are usually spared the pain of being charged with the crime of receiving stolen goods. The trick is called “listening to ones conscience”.

In the news is the reported story of some 17 churches paying the Syiem of Mylliem for land that was not his to sell. The land belonged to the people. The land was an environmentally protected forest. Encroaching and defiling such land constitutes a crime. The Syiem had no authority to sell it. The current value of the land in question, as per its location at Mawpat/ Mawroh cannot be less than Rs 500 per sq ft. It would not be less than rs 2 crore an acre. It was sold in between 10 – 18 lacs to each balang (church). Sold at an undervalued rate; sold without proper receipts; the Sunday collection from sincere church goers used in a fake transaction; that transaction then fraudulently shown as a gift. The market value of the total land sold cannot be less than 34 crores. It was sold for a mere Rs 3 crore. It’s one of the biggest land scams of Meghalaya with the Christian church bang in the middle of it. The surprise is that there are some very respectable people trying to justify this misdeed – on TV.

What do we do with this massive scam? Do we simply sweep it under the carpet? How can the Church and its leaders be allowed to abet corruption? What has happened to conscience? What happens then to all those sanctimonious sermons from the pulpit every Sunday? I am a Christian myself but I sincerely believe that an example has to be set. A crime has been committed. The criminals have to pay. The KHADC together with the new Syiem of Mylliem are strongly advised to call for a CBI enquiry into this scandal. Let the guilty be exposed irrespective if it is the Syiem of Mylliem, his myntris, pastors, church elders or priests. No one should be spared for breaking the law. No one is above the law!

Yours etc.,

JB Lyngdoh,

Via email

Injustice to students!

The issue is addressed to the leaders and the people concerned. Thousands of students of the state are waiting anxiously for their scholarships. Many have graduated one and half years back but have still not been paid our scholarship. I wonder where all the money has disappeared?  What might have happened to the money sanctioned for the purpose? The authority strands for justice and rights and they are supposed to defend and promote the common good, and the people look up to them as leaders. But the crime and the unjust practices seem to stem forth, from the very people who govern the state. No wonder our state is rated as one of the most corrupt states in the country, and it is not something that we are proud of. When a citizen commits a crime, he or she is taken to task and punished immediately; we are happy about it and sincerely appreciate the action. But, what about the bigger crimes, that those at the helm of government commit on a regular basis?  Very often they go unnoticed and practically no one questions them. Can’t they be punished? Are they exempted from the law which they themselves legislate? Is the rule meant only for the common people?

Crime and injustice will continue to prevail unless the law-makers make an effort to instil  values in themselves first. Today in a special way we need leaders who are committed and are true to their words. Alas! They make a lot of promises for their own gain and fail to keep the same when the time comes. It is a big injustice to the people and the society at large.

Yours etc.,

Dibacor  Chisim Sangma

Sacred Heart Theological College

Shillong -8

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