By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Sep 18: East Jaintia Hills unit of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) on Monday alleged harassment meted out by the BSF to locals in the district, and demanded the removal of BSF camps from Sonapyrdi, Ratacherra and Hingaria.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, general secretary of the KSU unit, Kwilniss S Suchiang, claimed that the locals face undue harassment by BSF personnel.
Pointing out that the BSF camp was set up primarily to enhance security measures in the region and ensure the safety of the borders, Suchiang lamented that a section of the local population is experiencing various forms of harassment at the hands of the BSF personnel.
The locals are subject to undue interrogations, frequent vehicle searches, intimidation tactics, and disrespect towards the local community, he claimed.
According to him, these actions have evoked a sense of fear and insecurity among the residents, negatively impacting their daily lives and overall well-being.
“Such behavior is regrettable and not in line with the principles of fairness and respect that our administration seeks to uphold. We are gravely concerned about the presence of this camp and is requesting its immediate removal or relocation to ensure safety to the people residing in these areas,” he said.
Suchiang alleged that on March 2 this year, a group of BSF personnel, armed and in their uniform, attacked a student of Huroi village while he was on his way to school.
This incident, he claimed, has left the villagers feeling vulnerable and living in fear.
The villagers and the union have strongly condemned the purported actions of the aforementioned BSF personnel, the union leader said.
Meanwhile, the KSU has urged the government to set up an additional anti-infiltration check gate along National Highway 6, particularly at Tongseng, while expressing concern over the influx of Bangladesh nationals.
Suchiang pointed out that the KSU’s Narpuh circle unit had detected movement of suspected immigrants from Bangladesh at Kuliang forest crossing the international border.
A series of such immigrants entering through the border has been detected and foiled on many occasions by the union and Dorbar Shnong, he said.
With regard to the deplorable condition of NH-6, the KSU said that repair work is yet to begin despite an assurance from the NHAI to initiate the repair work.
“The significance of NH-6 in facilitating smooth transportation and boosting economic activities in the region will be affected if no action is taken,” he stated.
Suchiang further called upon the government for the urgent need to set up a traffic branch in East Jaintia Hills.
Stating that numerous initiatives have been undertaken to address the growing challenges related to traffic management across various districts, he, however, said that lack of a dedicated traffic branch in East Jaintia Hills has led to spurt of issues and concerns for the residents.
According to him, rapid growth in population and economic activities in the district has led to an exponential increase in vehicular traffic and the absence of appropriate traffic management mechanisms has caused severe congestion on major roads.
“A dedicated traffic branch would enhance road safety measures by conducting regular patrols, implementing road safety campaigns, and issuing fines for violations,” he stated.
The union also submitted a memorandum to Deputy Chief Minister in this connection.