Attack on Assam labourers may hit big projects: MLA

MAWKYRWAT, Feb 28: Mawkyrwat MLA and PHE Minister, Renikton L. Tongkhar has expressed concern over the fate of big projects in South West Khasi Hills district after the St Xavier’s College at Umoid suspended classes indefinitely.
The Education Council of the Jesuit Society for North East India had resolved to stop all construction work at the college and the running of classes due to the attack on eight labourers from Assam on February 24. One of the labourers had succumbed to his injuries later.
“As an MLA, I was so happy to see big educational institutions come to our area one after the other. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Mawlangwir and Eklavya Model Residential School at Rangmaw-Domjyrti were in line after the St Xavier’s College here. These institutions are expected to bring changes to our area and provide jobs to hundreds of our youths,” Tongkhar said after the peace rally at Madan Shait-Shait Umiod on Saturday.
He said he had met Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and discussed the attack on the labourers soon after it happened at Umoid.
“I felt a big hammer hit my head when the CM asked me what we could do for South West Khasi Hills. We had proposed big developmental projects for the district, including Rs 300 crore for the promotion of tourism from Mawkyrwat to Nongnah and Ranikor.
We expected to attract thousands of tourists from across the country and jobs for our youths through the developmental activities initiated by the government, but now I don’t know what will happen when such things (attacks) continue to happen in our area,” Tongkhar said.
Calling upon the youths and the people of the district to sort all issues through dialogue and not to resort to any violence, the Minister said: “We have always accepted and supported agitations that are democratic, particularly by the NGOs demanding the implementation of laws to protect our people. But violence will never be a solution to the problems.”
Tongkhar said it was still not clear who carried out the attack on the labourers and why. He added that the law will take its own course and the perpetrators will be punished.

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