Tura traders move for ouster of Municipal CEO over highhandedness

TURA: Momentum seeking the removal of the Tura Municipal Board Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zenithsky J Sangma is fast building up within the traders’ community of Tura town consisting of as many as 800 shopkeepers attending a meeting to seek the officer’s ouster on Monday morning.
Barring the Tura Super Market and the Municipal Hub in Ringrey, traders in the rest of the town downed their shutters on Monday morning until noon to attend a meeting at the district auditorium where it was unanimously agreed to demand upon the government for the removal of the CEO.
As a first line of protest traders will be staging a silent protest rally on Tuesday at 11am from the Tura Bazar and will pass through the main thoroughfares of the town including Hawakhana and Babupara before culminating at the DC’s office.
The confrontation stems from recent events in which the officer has been at loggerheads with the trading community leading to show cause notices being served on them and allegations of manhandling of some traders by the municipal CEO.
The municipal CEO had issued show cause notices to all the traders of Tura town for keeping their establishments closed during a two-day GNLA bandh call given on August 14 and 15. Despite the traders expressing their inability to do anything about the incident due to threats from militants, the municipal CEO issued a government order directing them to file affidavits in court.
Terming him a ‘rogue’ officer, the business community alleged, during the meeting on Monday, that there have been instances when individual traders have been physically manhandled and narrated some instances including one in which the officer is accused of slapping a shopkeeper inside his chamber while another had his goods thrown outside the shop in the super market complex. There were also accusations that shopkeepers from the Tura Super Market and the Municipal Hub at Ringrey were threatened with cancellation of their licenses if they participated in Monday’s meeting. Both trading centers are run by the municipal board.
A delegation of the traders’ community of Tura recently met Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh in Shillong to apprise her of the events taking place in Tura and the difficulties being faced by the business community due to alleged highhandedness by the municipal officer.
“During the August 14-15 GNLA bandh it was not only Tura but all the other towns of Garo Hills witnessed a complete shutdown due to militant threats. How come municipal boards in the other towns have not issued show cause notices or asked for affidavits to be filed whereas only the traders of Tura are being made to suffer?” questioned some of the shopkeepers at the meeting.

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