Couple protests hate crimes
SHILLONG, Jan 23: In a first-of-its-kind act, a couple from Rilbong sat on a six-hour protest at the Khyndailad junction against alleged atrocities on the ethnic minority population and the lack of action against the perpetrators.
Sushit Kanti Choudhury and his wife Kalpana had planned to launch an indefinite hunger strike until the arrest of the culprits involved in assaulting three persons at Lumdiengjri on January 20. They had to cut the protest short as the district administration only allowed them to hold the demonstration for six hours from 10 am on Sunday.
They said their act was meant to be an eye-opener for the government and the district administration to act against such physical violence.
Speaking to this scribe on Sunday, Choudhury said, “How long can we go on facing these attacks in our own state? We are born and brought up here and deserve to be treated with some respect since we are only pursuing our livelihoods without disrupting anyone. It is high time we stand up for our Constitutional rights to live in dignity in any part of the country, including in Meghalaya.”
His wife Kalpana too echoed her husband saying that she has seen too many such incidents and no one has ever been arrested for such crimes over the years.
“What have we done to deserve this hatred and assault from time to time?” an emotional Kalpana asked.
Several people turned up at the venue to show solidarity with the couple who fasted for six hours.
There was a huge police bandobast especially as a message had been circulated by another group asking all Khasis to congregate at Khyndailad at 3 pm to condemn and protest against the high-handedness suffered at the hands of non-tribals.
The WhatsApp message asked all to join in the protest. However, until about 3.45 pm no such protesters were visible.
Interestingly, a police woman asked some of those congregating at the venue of the fast whether they came to show solidarity with the couple or to protest against their fast.