Karimganj legislator petitions CM on harassment of Bengalis

SHILLONG, Dec 1: North Karimganj MLA, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha has urged Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma to stop alleged harassment and discrimination of Bengali citizens of the state while assuring to take all measures to protect the Khasi community residing in Cachar against any threat or intimidation.
The Assam MLA met Conrad on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum requesting the chief minister to ensure the rule of law and protect the Bengali citizens of Meghalaya.
“For the sake of maintaining peace and harmony, we would also expect from your end to give a clear message to those groups who are banking on divisive stances and have been going for unlawful acts resulting in unrest and ethnic divide,” Purkayastha said in his petition to the chief minister.
The MLA alleged that in the last few months, the Bengalis of Meghalaya have been subjected to atrocities — both physically and mentally — and lamented that the threats and intimidation thrown towards the Bengalis living in Ichamati and Bholaganj area since February 2020, unlawfully identifying them as ‘illegal migrants’, have made their day-to-day life miserable making it hard for them to carry on with their regular livelihood.
He said that during the initial period of lockdown in April-May 2020, the KSU had illegally run check posts on NH-37 at its entry point from Barak Valley harassing travellers in the name of infiltration checking.
Recalling that on July 3, six non-tribal boys were attacked by a mob when they went to play basketball in Lawsohtun, Shillong, the MLA added that the incident ignited serious repercussion among the Bengali community, especially in Barak Valley of Assam.
The petition also mentioned the posters put up by pressure groups with the message “All Meghalaya Bengalis are Bangladeshis” and a recent incident when the Ramakrishna Mission situated in Jail Road, Shillong was allegedly closed and the main gate locked by some KSU members.
Stating that the brotherhood and umbilical relation between the Khasis and the Bengalis is under threat in Meghalaya, Purkayastha said the present acts by some to sell the divisive narrative of “native versus outsider” would only malign the long existing social texture of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills.
When asked about the threat to Khasis from the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) in Cachar, Purkayastha said that if there is any such incident, he would take necessary action to ensure that all communities live in peace.
“I have met the Khasi community in my area and I have spoken about this in the Assam Assembly as well and we will ensure that all communities live in peace,” he said.

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