Guv Malik to take up issue of ‘atrocities’ with Shah, CM

SHILLONG, Jan 28: Governor Satya Pal Malik has assured that he will take up with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma the issue of the state government not actively taking up the cases of atrocities against linguistic minorities.
Malik is said to have made the assurance to Assam State Linguistic Minority Board chairman Shiladitya Dev and BJP legislator AL Hek at a meeting on Friday.
Dev visited the state after news of atrocities against the linguistic minorities surfaced and allegations about the state government not doing much to punish the criminals were made.
“We told the Governor that this is the failure of the government as it has not taken action against them. Why can’t it take action against them?” Hek asked while talking to reporters.
Stressing that social justice should be given and everyone has equal right to live peacefully anywhere in India being a citizen of the country, he said, “The Governor said he will take up the issue with the CM and the Union Home Minister.”
Pointing out that the Dorbar Shnong and pastors in Mawkhar had recently called a meeting to ensure that there is no untoward incident, he said, “I condemn the government’s inaction against the anti-social elements. Not even a single person has been arrested or convicted.”
Hek further said, “Our people are not communal. Just a few of them are doing this and our entire society is being blamed. We love peace and want to co-exist.”
Dev had earlier interacted with cross-sections of leaders and civil society groups to get their views. “We had small meetings with different linguistic minority groups and I could feel the sense of insecurity. Why is this insecurity? Who is creating this and why this hatred?” Dev, who had done his schooling in Shillong, asked.
“I have spoken to the Khasi society, senior leaders and intellectuals and they are also not supporting such incidents. They are of the opinion that they will not tolerate human rights violation in Shillong. They should work together and put pressure. Don’t make it a lawless capital,” he said.
The Assam BJP leader said he had learnt from his interactions with the leaders of Khasi intellectual groups and human rights activists that it is basically a conflict between criminals and law-abiding people and not a case of communal disharmony.
Urging the CM and all political leaders to come out openly against criminals, he said, “A criminal is a criminal. You cannot give the criminals protection on the lines of religion or on the basis of language as they do not have any language or religion.”
“If a law-abiding person is harassed or intimidated, the government has to take strong action but I believe this is not happening today. Such incidents of stabbings, harassment of outsiders or linguistic minorities should not recur, otherwise the brotherhood and harmony will be disturbed,” he added.
Pointing out that Meghalaya is protected with its tribal population economically and socially secured, he said the small number of the linguistic minority groups cannot have any impact on the state’s socio-political areas and it is the duty of the majority community, wherever in India, to take care of the linguistic minority groups.
“There is no religious conflict but if the linguistic conflict can be reduced or removed, Shillong can gain much from the tourism perspective,” he said.
He suggested the state government to constitute a linguistic minority development board so that minority communities can be looked after. He said the board can have a good coordination with the government and the civil society and it will, in turn, help the government to take action whenever such an incident is reported.
There is a need to have the board as in many instances, the minorities stay away from registering an FIR for the fear that they could be harassed or attacked again, Dev said.
“In 2020, a girl had lodged a complaint with the Laban Police Station. She was forced to withdraw it a year later. This should not happen. I have the documents,” he added.

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