Slur on PwDs: Cong candidate under fire

Apologise within 24 hours, say bodies

SHILLONG, Dec 5: Congress’ Assembly polls candidate from Sohiong, Osborne Kharjana, has been asked to tender an apology within 24 hours for his remarks against the differently-abled people, which he reportedly made in a public meeting at Sohiong recently.
The Federation of Persons with Disabilities (FPD) and Khasi Disabilities Association (KDA) on Monday demanded that the Congress apologise.
Kharjana, reportedly, remarked that people will not elect persons with disabilities (PwDs) to the position of Rangbah Shnong and to be their representative since it is clear that they do not have the capacity to serve them.
KDA president Starwin Kharjana said that the association condemns the remarks of the Congress candidate.
According to him, the remarks were uncalled for.
He said that the association will lodge a complaint with the Commissioner of Disabilities, Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of East Khasi Hills if he failed to apologise within the given deadline.
The association president also urged upon the Congress party to take action against its candidate.
According to him, Osborne Kharjana violated the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
The Act, he said, guarantees that the PwDs enjoy the right to equality, life with dignity, and respect for his or her own integrity equally with others.
The KDA president claimed that many localities and villages have their Rangbah Shnong and Dorbar secretaries as PwDs.
Echoing similar views, KDA member Bertina Lyngdoh reminded the Congress candidate that even a single vote of the PwDs can help in winning the election.
“You cannot undermine us since our votes are equally important. We are deeply hurt by his remarks,” Lyngdoh said, adding that his statement reflects his state of mind.
“We are giving him 24 hours to apologise to us through the media,” she added.

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