Committee grills SPs from Jaintia Hills

Spurt in crimes against women

SHILLONG, April 7: The Assembly Committee on Women’s Empowerment, on Wednesday, summoned the Superintendents of Police of East Jaintia Hills and West Jaintia Hills over the spurt of crimes against women in the Jaintia Hills region.
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Chairperson of the Committee, Ampareen Lyngdoh, said that crimes against women in East Jaintia Hills have been witnessing an unprecedented upsurge and the concerned SP has informed the Committee that such heinous crimes are being attended to.
The Assembly panel has asked the authorities to ensure that crimes against women and children are put under control in the state.
The Committee was also informed that police is on the job to make a breakthrough in the two most recent rape and murder cases. The police have garnered enough evidences into the matter, the officials told the panel.
The district so far has witnessed 33 POCSO cases and eight alleged murders of women and children.
With the district police facing difficulties in gathering reports, the Committee has decided to compile information and send it to the police headquarters regarding the delay pertaining to forensic lab and medical reports.
On the recent murder of a young girl in West Jaintia Hills, the district police assured the Committee that they will have enough evidence to charge-sheet the suspect.
With regard to POCSO cases in East Jaintia Hills, Lyngdoh said there were 53 of them registered in the district, out of which 28 cases have already been charged-sheeted, while 20 are pending and nine are at their final report stage.
“There have also been eight murders including six women and two children in the district and the police have given us a report which appears to be going on in the right direction,” the Committee chairperson said.
The House Committee, meanwhile, expressed serious concern over the alarming teenage pregnancy incidence as more than 100 cases of teenage pregnancies have been reported in the district from March till today.
On the sidelines, the Committee has also decided to visit the two Jaintia Hills districts during April 21-23 to make firsthand assessment of how cases are progressing.
The recent incident of an unidentified body of a female found in Wah Myntdu, West Jaintia Hills, has raised questions about whether Jaintia Hills has become unsafe for women.
The recovery of the body of the 23-year-old woman was the latest crime against women in the region. Before this, a 16-year-old schoolgirl was found allegedly murdered and suspected to have been raped. Her body was spotted by labourers at 2-Kilo, Sutnga Elaka, in East Jaintia Hills.
MSCW chairperson impasse
On the other hand, the Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment has questioned the Meghalaya government over the delay in appointing a chairperson of the Meghalaya State Commission for Women (MSCW).
Committee’s Chairperson Ampareen Lyngdoh said that the government, during the meeting, informed the panel that it is reviewing the rules and procedures for appointment of the chairperson including the salary.
The Committee was assured that by the fourth week of April, everything will be in order.
The MSCW is non-functional since October last year and the government has decided that a meeting, to be headed by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, will be held in the third week of this month after which the new chairperson of the committee will be appointed.

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