City in flames: Citizens want an end to hate crimes and violence

SHILLONG, Nov 28: Amid a lingering apprehension of violence in Meghalaya, a cross-section of citizens in the capital city has called for an end to hate crimes and the restoration of peace in the state.
They came together on Monday for deliberations on peace and justice in the state aftermath of the recent firing incident at Mukroh that resulted in violence and arson in the capital city throwing life out of gear.
The citizens also made it clear that they are against gun culture in the state as proposed by a few individuals in the state after the violence.
CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing expressed concern over the bloodshed at Mukroh village and the violence unleashed in the city leading to a complete breakdown of law and order.
She said that no society in this world wants such violence while calling out everyone to work towards restoring peace in the state
Angela Rangad of TUR also echoed the same. She said that several voices are reacting to the violence in Jaintia Hills and elsewhere in the state.
“The violence is perpetrated by the fringe elements and their voices seem to be loud. We need to amplify voices like the ones we have today,” Rangad said.
She stressed the need to bolster the call for justice, peace, rights, proper system and development.
Rangad also spoke of an effective mechanism to deal with hate crimes and to foster a relationship where nobody feels threatened.
Some other citizens also condemned the violence and expressed concern over the fact that picturesque Shillong’s name is being wrongly associated with hooliganism. They asked the state government to rise from ‘slumber’ and listen to the agonising voices of the people.
One of them said that non-tribals comprise 8 per cent of the total population in Meghalaya. He found no logic in the theory that minuscule non-tribals would outnumber the 92 per cent of tribals if they are allowed to buy land in the state.
Phyllis Rani, a retired government servant from Laban, said everyone wants peace which cannot be achieved without love. She recalled happy old days.
She said during the troubled curfew days in the 1980s, people from different communities in her locality used to play carrom and even eat food from the same plate.
Jasbir Singh, a businessman, also vividly recalled those days. He reminisced how he was cared for and scolded for leaving Jaiaw, where he used to stay earlier.
He said violent incidents should not be taken so seriously and hoped that stray incidents won’t happen again.
Singh expressed his happiness over the fact that Meghalaya at least does not have a bulldozer culture like other states. He further added mushrooming of hotels and homestays indicates that things are peaceful here.
Some citizens also spoke for forming an NGO of like-minded people to pursue their cause.

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