Make social stigma a criminal offence, Congress tells Govt

Shillong July 30: The opposition Congress has demanded that social stigma be made criminal offence and asked the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government to come up with a strong legislation in this connection.

“The government should come up with a strong legislation or ordinance by making social stigma a criminal offence,” Congress spokesperson, Zenith Sangma said in a statement issued on Thursday.

On the government’s decision to issue show-cause notice to the authority of Ganesh Das Government Hospital in connection with death of a new born after an expecting mother was not admitted, the Congress leader said, “Issuing show-cause notice is not going to help, while slamming the government that the incident was a reflection of inefficiency and lack of experience of the leadership for governance.

“After something goes wrong or after some precious life is lost, they always try to find out the remedy. The Government has proven itself as insensitive time and again,” Sangma pointed out.

Sangma further alleged that the government has declared certain areas as containment zones but without any preparedness.

“When certain areas are declared as containment zones, they are curtailing the rights of the residents, not allowing them to come out. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Government to ensure that the residents get proper food and other essential commodities mandated by the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” he said.

He also accused the government of taking decisions without taking the local authorities including headmen on board.

“We are lucky that in Shillong, we have the Rangbah Shnongs (headmen) already in place and they are voluntarily working day and night supporting the Government. Due to lack of coordination, everything is not going in the right direction. The problem is, we are from the opposition, belonging to the other party. Even if we speak the truth and give constructive suggestions, they will always say that we play politics at this time of crisis,” the Congress leader stated.