By Lamphrang Nongspung
KLEW: 23 families of Upper Klew village in Ri-Bhoi district are not getting the benefit of various Government schemes only because they had opposed the decision of the Klew village Rangbah Shnong Pholning Makdoh to sell the Raid land (community land) by issuing land documents to a few the residents of the village.
In fact, there had been opposition by the villagers to this move for issuing land documents way back in 1990-1991 when Nasing Marsharing was the Rangbah Shnong.
The matter was brought to the notice of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) but neither the Commisison nor the Government authorities have so far taken any measures to see that the 23 families are not deprived of their right to avail these schemes.
It appears that the Government is protecting the Rangbah Shnong since they have tried to downplay this matter in their reply to the NHRC.
In fact, Ri-Bhoi Additional District Magistrate I Mawlong was asked to investigate into the matter. But she never visited the village and instead summoned Helin Lawai whom the 23 families have elected as their Rangbah Shnong to her office in Nongpoh.
Surprisingly even the Umsning Block Development Officer P Khonglah has failed to take any corrective measures to see that the 23 families are not deprived of their rights.
The families have not been getting their foods items through the public distribution system since August last year.
It is also found that none of the members of the 23 families have a job card even though the village started to implement the NREGS schemes since 2010.
What is more shocking is that the Village Employment Council (VEC) has also allegedly manipulated things by including some names from amongst the 23 families as job card holders without their knowledge.
This was confirmed by the aggrieved families after verifying the list of the job card holders from the RTI documents.
In fact, it has been alleged that the Rangbah Shnong had sent some of his people to force them to put their thumb impression in their list of muster rolls.
It is learnt that the Rangbah Shnong who is also the VEC chairman has instead done most of the work using machines.
The decision of the Rangbah Shnong to use the machines is also a major controversy since the main objective of the NREGS is to provide employment to the villagers.
The residents of Upper Klew village do not have drinking water facilities even though other adjoining areas are enjoying those facilities. Not only this, the area is also not getting the benefit of the RGVVY scheme (a scheme for rural electrification), even though electric pylons have already been erected.
“We have not got PDS items since August last year. We had gone to collect the rice but I was told by the Fair Shop dealer that there is a direction from the Rangbah Shnong not issue any PDS items to the 23 families,” one of the members of the 23 families Ryanti Kharsati told reporters on Sunday.
She also said that none of the members of the 23 families have job cards even though their names have been included in the muster roll without their consent.
“We do not have electricity in the village even though the electric poles were erected some years ago. In fact, there was electricity for few months in some of the houses. But we do not know why it was discontinued,” Kharsati said.
She also said that the families do not have proper drinking facilities in their area.
Meanwhile, Rangbah Shnong Pholning Makdoh has denied the allegations that the 23 families have been deprived of their rights to PDS items etc and also have been kept out of the NREGS and other schemes.
The Rangbah Shnong denied all the charges levied against him.