SHILLONG, MAY 12: Three persons were arrested along with heroin from the city on Thursday night.
Last night, following a tip off, ANTF East Khasi Hills made a raid at Polo opposite NEEPCO and arrested 3 persons involved in drug supply in Shillong, East Khasi Hills SP Sylvester Nongtnger said on Friday.
Five soap cases of heroin weighing 67.8 grams, one golden tobacco tin containing heroin of 0.16 gram, cash Rs 2.33 lakh besides a scooty (ML 05 M 0237), a Mahindra maximo plus pick up (ML 05 N 6577, 3 syringes and four mobile phones were seized from their possession, he said.
SHILLONG, MAY 12: The Chairman of the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), James P.K. Sangma, on Friday, inspected the Tura office of the corporation and held a meeting with various officials to discuss ideas for strengthening the workforce and conducting capacity-building exercises for the staff, to overhaul industrial activity in the region. During the inspection, Sangma was briefed about the various issues faced by the MIDC in Tura, such as fund constraints and the inability to provide services to grant loans to aspiring entrepreneurs and business persons in the region.
“We have various plans and ideas that we are working on to improve the overall functioning of the MIDC in our state. We are already in the process of initiating the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, which will ensure optimal performance and help map and define the different roles and responsibilities of all concerned staff in the Corporation,” Sangma highlighted. “We intend to revamp and bring in new office facilities to strengthen services for the people of the region,” he added.
During the visit, Sangma also elaborated that plans to set up various centres – like the Loan Appraisal Center, Incubation Center, and Consultation Center – are in the pipeline for the Tura MIDC office and will be taken up in the coming years. He said these centres will provide a platform for entrepreneurs to learn, network, and seek guidance from experts in their respective fields.
“The industrial sector in the Garo Hills region has great potential to become a major revenue-generating sector for our state, particularly in areas like textiles, tourism, horticulture, food processing, and handicrafts. These sectors have been identified as priority sectors by the State government as well. Therefore, MIDC aims to take necessary measures to support the development of these industries and the supporting ecosystem around it,” the Chairman said.
Given that Meghalaya is an agro-based state, the establishment of proper supply chains could benefit the state, particularly with the export market of Bangladesh in close proximity, Sangma said, adding that MIDC is building the necessary support system, including financial assistance, marketing support, and capacity building.
SHILLONG, MAY 12: The Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Friday set a 48-hour ultimatum for the state government to put on hold all job recruitment process pending the review of the state reservation policy failing which the party will be compelled to call for series of agitations.
A letter in this regard was submitted by leaders of the VPP to the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma after a public meeting was held at the parking lot near the additional secretariat here.
A few hundreds of people came out to show their support and solidarity with the VPP and its demand.
The four MLAs led by Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit chose not to submit the letter as decided earlier after learning that the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong were not in station even as they termed it as an ‘excuse’ not to meet them to avoid discussion on the important issue.
Announcing the decision of the party during the meeting, Basaiawmoit said, “We have decided to set a 48-hour ultimatum for the government to immediately come up with a notification putting on hold the job recruitment process in the state pending review of the state reservation policy.”
“On failing, we would have no other option but to call for series of agitations against the adamant attitude of this government,” he added.
He said this is the party’s second letter to the government after it has failed to respond to the first letter which demanded for convening of the Assembly’s special session for discussion on this sensitive issue.
Basaiawmoit said that the party has decided to instead entrusted party leaders to submit the letter to the government after they were informed that the chief minister and deputy chief minister are not in station.
“We were told they have gone to Delhi to request the Centre to support the state for setting up an international airport. I fail to understand why don’t they first improve the functioning of the existing airport. However, this is seen just an excuse to avoid meeting us because you think that the VPP do not have the number as they have only 4 MLAs,” he said.
The Nongkrem legislator further assumed that the government is avoiding discussion because they don’t have justification to say that the present policy is right and said, “They (Govt) understand once they sit in the table across with us they will not be able to justify their stand that the present reservation policy is fine that it doesn’t have any problem and that it takes care for every tribe in the state.”
When asked, the VPP chief said that the party’s stand is very clear that the problem is not with the roster system but it is with the entire policy.
“The policy is not proportionate so how can you divide the policy by two. You need to understand the population structure of the state, you need to see that the population of Khasi-Jaintia is more than the population in Garo Hills so how do you expect that the policy will be reserved equally between the two,” he said.
Stating that the VPP’s fight is for the benefit of both the ‘Khasis’ and the ‘Garos’, Basaiawmoit said, “When we fight for the reservation it doesn’t mean that we fight for ourselves only. We fight so that this reservation is ‘just and fair’ for these two communities.”
Alleging that the present reservation policy is giving ample opportunities to non-residents of the state, he said, “As we know, according to the present policy it even gives a chance to the tribes from outside the state to enjoy this reservation policy. Therefore, this reservation policy has to be for Garos of Meghalaya and has to be for the Khasis in Meghalaya not any other tribes coming from any other states. So it is for their own good that we are trying to bring a solution on this issue.”
Asked if the VPP would also approach leaders from Garo Hills for support, Basaiawmoit said, “Definitely, we will be discussing, we will be engaging as our stand is not against our Garo brothers. We just want to see that this policy is being reviewed, relook and re-examine and bring a policy which is just and fair for both the communities nothing more than that.”
The VPP leader said the party doesn’t mind if the state government takes time to discuss the issue but “in the meantime, we want the government to immediately put on hold any kind of recruitment process because if they recruit in the present form that means our youth will be badly affected. Therefore, we ask the government to put on hold any employment process (till the) policy is reviewed.”
On the government’s decision to call for an all-party meeting, Basaiawmoit said the VPP will definitely attend the meeting if invited.
He further maintained that the party does not want this issue to continue in the street in this way.
“We want the government to convene a special session because we dont want to discuss the issue in the streets as we are doing now. Because the government is trying to avoid we have no option but to hit the streets. We dont want this issue to continue in the street, we want the government to initiate and find ways and means to review the policy,” he asserted.
SHILLONG, MAY 12: Yet again, a clash between two communities erupted at Khanduli village along the inter-state border in West Jaintia Hills District on Thursday.
Sources informed that the clash broke out after the dorbar shnong of the Khanduli decided to restrict Karbi people from passing through the village. This came after a group of Karbi people had allegedly threatened the villagers from going to their paddy fields.
The clash has also resulted in stone pelting, fights and setting ablaze of two huts.
Sources said that two people from Karbi Anglong sustained injuries and were rushed to a hospital in Hojai for medical treatment.
During the incident, the official vehicle of the SP of West Jaintia Hills was also attacked by the angry mob with stones.
The SP however managed to escape unharmed but his vehicle was partially damaged.
Meanwhile, the two district administrations of Meghalaya and Assam have taken measures to control the situation and have beefed up security along the inter-state border.
SHILLONG, MAY 12: Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Urban Affairs Sniawbhalang Dhar on Thursday said it is not possible for the government to accept the proposal of the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC).
According to him, the government will wait for the Court’s verdict on the issue.
“Frankly speaking that is not possible because their (HPC) demand is too high. Since they have gone to the court we have to wait for the court’s verdict,” Dhar told reporters.
The government had in fact came up with a blueprint after rejecting the April 25,2022-proposal of the HPC that 200 square meters of land be provided to each of the 342 families within the European ward besides bearing the cost of construction of their homes.
The government’s proposal is to relocate the 342 families of Sweepers’ Colony from Them Iew Mawlong to the existing land of the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB). However, this proposal was rejected by the HPC recently in its reply submitted to the government.
When asked, Dhar said once the deputy chief minister in-charge home is in station, a meeting will be held next week to discuss and take call on this issue.
“We have already filed an affidavit before the court and we are waiting for the court order,” he added.
According to him, the government’s affidavit has indicated the decision of the HPC and that the government will not change its stand on relocating the Sweepers’ Colony to the existing land of the SMB.
SHILLONG: NPP leader and deputy chief minister Sniawbhalang Dhar on Thursday said the Sohiong election will not affect the relationship of his party with the coalition partner – the United Democratic Party (UDP).
“There is no problem. Election is election, why are you worried? Campaign is campaign but MDA is strong. They (UDP) are with us now also. The coalition will not be affected. Election speech is election speech,” Dhar told reporters.
He said that the recent merger of the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) with the NPP will further make the MDA government become stronger. “We are thankful to the PDF (for merging with us),” he said.
When asked, Dhar said the party is approaching other political parties for a possible merger.
“I am trying and whoever comes they are most welcome. We want numbers and our door is open to other parties and we are all happy with all of our friends,” he added.