KSU disrupts voter enrolment: Day-II

 police take away an agitating KSU member. (UB,ST)
police take away an agitating KSU member. (UB,ST)

SHILLONG: A major tussle took place between the police and KSU activists at the premises of the East Khasi Hills, Deputy Commissioner’s office on Tuesday after the latter again tried to stop the enrolment drive for the electoral rolls.
The KSU activists wanted to close down the Public Facilitation Centre (PFC) for the second time in the past two days to stop enrolment of what they termed as ‘dubious’ voters.
After seeing the aggressiveness of the KSU activists, Additional Deputy Commissioner P Lawai had to intervene by asking them to meet her at her chamber.
The ADC told the KSU activist that they cannot demand closure of the PFC.
Dissatisfied with the clarification, the KSU activists insisted that the Center be closed immediately.
The continued agitation of the KSU activists at the Deputy Commissioner’s office, forced the SP (City) Vivek Syiem to intervene. He tried to arrest the agitators by forcing them inside a bus with the intention of taking them to the Sadar Police station.
The KSU activists refused to enter the bus and after a prolonged struggle, KSU president Daniel Khyriem  landed at the DC’s office and tried to convince the district administration not to arrest his colleagues.
After this, Additional District Magistrate Ronnie Wahlang also tried to convince Khyriem that the PFC is not only meant for voter enrolment but also serves as a kiosk for application of senior citizenship certificates, Scheduled Tribe and other certificates.
After a heated argument, the KSU president agreed to have a discussion with the officials of the district administration.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with the officials, Khyriem said that the Union intended to stop the enrolment process since there are many ‘dubious’ voters who have managed to get themselves enrolled without proper verification. He said the Union also got a chance to remind the District Administration once again that in 2012 the Government had agreed to their demands and had shut down the facilitation cells.
“Now only the name has been changed from the facilitation cell to the PFC. The objective of having these centres is to facilitate the enrolment of prospective voters in the electoral rolls,” the KSU president said, adding that the Union would not allow this enrolment exercise to be held without the involvement of the traditional heads.
“The hearing should be conducted in various Dorbar Shnong to allow the Dorbar to help in  identifying those who wish to enroll themselves and to ensure they are genuine Indian citizens,” he said.
Khyriem further pointed out that the Assam Government had recently stopped the issuance of EPIC Cards because of the problem of verifying genuine Indian citizens in that State but in Meghalaya the officials are accepting documents from people coming from Assam.
“This shows the lackadaisical attitude of our State and the authorities in the Election Department,” Khyriem said adding that there are several people who are bringing documents from Karimganj, Hailakandi, Dhubri , etc .
“How can one justify these documents when even the DC and SP of these districts in Assam are unable to authenticate these documents? It is the same with the labour licenses too. It is difficult to prove that those who come to work here are genuine Indians because they cannot provide proper documentation.
He further said that the KSU would take the issue back to the Chief Minister and remind him once again the decision he had taken in 2012 and also the notification from the Government stating that the booth level officers would be recognized by the Headman and the Dorbar Shnong who will be part of this enrolment exercise.

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