Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Public body to protest police atrocities in Garo Hills


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From Our Correspondent

TURA: With reports of alleged police atrocities during counter insurgency operations in Garo Hills region mounting higher lately, the newly formed body, Peoples’ Movement for Democratic Rights (PMDR), will be holding a sit-in demonstration at the DC Office premises on Tuesday.

At a meeting held on Sunday, PMDR decided to embark on the passive form of agitation over police atrocities in Garo Hills to show their objection and protest against atrocious acts by security forces on the people of the region.

“We are hoping that the authorities will react positively to our peaceful form of agitation,” said vice chairman of PMDR, Mrs Lalnunthari D Shira and added that the Movement will be submitting a memorandum to the State Home Minister through the West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner.

“We will also be sending a copy of the memorandum to all the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of all the five districts of Garo Hills,” she informed.

On Sunday, leaders and members of various NGOs, civil societies and student bodies of all the districts of Garo Hills held a meeting at the Tura District Auditorium following the movement at Dadenggre Civil Sub-Division, where numerous cases of police atrocities during counter insurgency operations were reported in recent times.

At the meeting, the gathering came to a conclusion that all the NGOs, civil societies and other bodies should come under a single umbrella and form a single body to undertake the burning issue of the alleged atrocities on civilians by the security forces and decided to name it Peoples Movement for Democratic Rights.

Meanwhile, leaders from the FKJGP, GSU regional Units, GHSHR and other organizations have been made co-ordinating committee members of the Movement.

PMDR said that police atrocities are rising by the day and innocent civilians all over Garo Hills are being mistreated with no regards even for their most basic and fundamental rights.

“Civilians, including the elderly, women and children are being arrested and harassed randomly,” said the organization and added that the security forces whose first and foremost priority is to protect the civilians are becoming the terrorizers themselves.

Allegedly, in one of the incidents of police atrocities in Garo Hills, a seven-month pregnant lady was assaulted and harassed which later led to a miscarriage. In some other cases the victims are now suffering hearing problems after police personnel fired in the air placing the guns close to the ears of the victims after brutally assaulting them.

Rally protests police highhandedness

A peace rally was organized at Makalpara Playground near Kherapara in West Garo Hills District on Saturday last, in protest against rampant cases of police highhandedness on innocent villagers of the area.

The rally was organized jointly by 30 villages of Kherapara region and over two thousand people including aged citizens of the area participated in the rally which was held to endorse peace and harmony.

In a meeting held on the same day, it was resolved that the security forces should maintain peace and harmony and that a police station or police out post should be set up and established at Makalgonchu area for better maintenance of law and order in the area.

The public also resolved that security forces should stop harassing innocent villagers in the name of counter insurgency operations and must not take into custody any villager unless they have an undisputable proof of their guilt.

The gathering also demanded that the police should make public, the whereabouts of the seven arrested persons about whom the police department is keeping mum.

Sources informed that in the name of investigating the case of the IED trap laid by suspected militants at Angalanggri to Nalnapara village road on November 2, police personnel are randomly arresting and harassing innocent people from the area.

Allegedly, on November 19, the Circle Inspector of Dalu Police Station had arrested nine people from the area including a schoolgirl, Nobi M Marak, and her father Nathaniel Sangma.

However, the villagers alleged that only Nathaniel Sangma and his daughter were taken into police custody whereas the fate of the seven others remains unknown till date.

Prior to the arrest of these nine persons, a school teacher was also arrested and kept in police custody for 14 days. Besides the arrest of the school teacher, the villagers alleged that the police were also searching for a Nokma and two church leaders.

According to police, three IED bombs weighing between 2 to 5 kg were recovered from the road near Nalnapara, 6 km away from Kherapara on November 2 which were planted by suspected GNLA militants to target security forces moving around the area.


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