Thursday, April 25, 2024

Another saga of insecurity?


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The blast very close to the Harijan Colony/Punjabi Lane marks another attempt at pushing the issue of resettlement of the residents of the area – which has been hanging fire since May 2018. The High Level Committee formed to resolve this conundrum Appears to have hit a roadblock since the residents have made unreasonable demands for large plots of land when they have been told to shift to an alternative place. The point of contention here is that the Harijan Colony was meant to house only those workers of the Shillong Municipal Board. Legally one working person is allotted one house. A person who has retired should find accommodation elsewhere since there is no agreement at the time of appointment of these workers or at any time in the recent past that a retired person should continue to reside in the quarters provided by the government. This arrangement applies to all government officials living in staff quarters. So why was this not sorted out earlier before things arrived at this point of conflict?
Secondly, the adult children of the person employed by the Municipality cannot continue to live in the same quarters even after they have married and given birth to children? All adult members of the family of the municipal worker should have moved out and found residence elsewhere. Again since no attention was paid to this aspect the homes in the area have been expanded to look like little cubicles with no breathing space. To add to this are the commercial spaces within the residential area which have come up with no legal sanctions. Some members of the family of the Municipal employee must have set up shop as a means of livelihood. This also raises the larger issue of zoning which has not been enforced in Meghalaya. Zoning ensures that residential areas are designated as such and cannot overnight develop into commercial areas with shops springing up as happens in this State.
All that apart the Harijan Colony has been guarded by the CRPF for a long time and movement along that route towards Iewduh was restricted so how was this security breached and how could a person plant an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) without anyone noticing the movement of the suspect? The patterns are similar to the blasts at Laitumkhrah market and elsewhere, hence suspicion falls on the familiar agent provocateurs. Now that police have arrested the two suspects the law should be allowed to take its course and the police should come under no pressure to kowtow to the demands of sundry pressure groups on the arrests made.


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