AFSPA must be repealed

Editor,

There is a gradual movement which is building up among various sections of society against the misuse of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958) by the armed forces in insurgent hit areas in the Northeast. The draconian act was enforced to control and contain the surge of insurgency in states of Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir etc….however the gross violations of human rights and dignity over a period of time been a stain on this nation’s democratic structure. Now with the Modi led government’s plan to abolish archaic colonial laws the AFSPA is one that should be done away with. The uniqueness of AFSPA is that it gives instant immunity to military personnel in insurgency prone areas from being tried in a civilian court in case of allegations of excesses committed. Rather they are tried in a military court. A closer look into the various human rights violations by security forces during counter-insurgency operations shows lack of transparency and even the media does not get close enough to report the crimes. Conviction rates against uniformed personnel is not commensurate to the excesses committed. It is due to such regressive policies under the guise of national security that social harmony gets affected and leads to more problems in containing armed groups. If democracy in India is to flourish and empower people, then undemocratic laws like AFSPA need to be withdrawn.

Yours etc…

Dominic S. Wankhar,

Via email

MeECL remains brazenly adamant

Editor,

An RTI report in the editorial column of The Shillong Times (ST July 2, 2014) had exposed that the officers of the Personnel Wing in the Secretariat of the then ASEB/MeSEB, presently known as MeECL looking after the services of thousands of employees, were manned by officers with the requisite educational qualification only, i.e. a Master’s Degree in Social Work with specialization in Personnel Management. Other officers had requisite degrees to deal with the personnel they were in charge of.

However, the MeECL continues to employs officers in different administrative posts who do not have the requisite qualifications but are graduates in the general stream. This raises questions about the efficiency of the Corporation in an age where competence is the buzzword. It is surprising as to why superfluous posts have been allowed to continue even after corporatization when they were not incorporated in the MeSEB/MeECL Service Regulations 1996? Why has it taken a long time to appoint eligible officers? Why does the MeECL not scrap all the recruitments/selection done in the past where ineligible officers were allowed to participate in the selection, interview of candidates in different posts? Why has it taken such a long time to advertise the posts for the Personnel Wing which is the backbone of Personnel Administration of the MeECL today? Will the MeECL extend the same leniency to all other candidates applying for all category of posts though they don’t have the requisite qualifications? If not, then is this not injustice?

How long will the MeECL mislead the general public and continue to conceal this fact without shame?

Yours etc.,

Pyntbitroy M. Kharkongor)

Shillong

No salary for MTC workers

Editor,

The Meghalaya Transport Corporation Workers have not received their salaries for the last three months (July-October 2014). The usual excuse is that there are no funds. If this situation persists then we might have to go without salaries till December 2014. This irregularity in payment of salary has put us all in great hardship. Some of our colleagues have even been evicted from their homes due to non-payment of house rent which is a very sad state of affairs. Our misery does not end there. There are cases of families not being able to meet their medical expenses.

It makes us wonder why the Government has sanctioned funds for acquisition of 10 vehicles which were procured two months ago and are kept in the premises instead of making them operational to generate revenue for the Corporation especially during the peak Puja season. For reasons best known to the management the vehicles are lying idle. The MTC Workers Union is very concerned with this slackness on the operational side which has unnecessarily led to loss of revenue to the Corporation. Therefore the Union urges the management to be more judicious about spending public money. The Union has decided that if salaries are not paid within 30 days then the members would resort to agitation, as they can no longer afford to wait and suffer in silence.

Yours etc.,

K. Rumnong

General Secretary

Meghalaya Transport Corporation Workers Union

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