Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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EKH Returning Officer to hold meeting with parties

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Clash between NPP, VPP supporters at Umsning

SHILLONG, April 9: East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer for the Shillong parliamentary seat SC Sadhu has taken strong note of the clashes between NPP and VPP supporters at Umsning in Ri-Bhoi on Monday and decided to hold a meeting with the leaders of political parties to avoid such incident in the lead up to the polls.
Sadhu told The Shillong Times on Tuesday that to avoid the clashes, they will ensure that meetings of the two political parties are not organised at the same place and same time.
The election department will send a detailed SOP to all political parties and representatives of the candidates to make sure campaigning is peaceful and transparent.
After Monday’s incident, the department sent its flying squad while the situation is being monitored in sensitive areas.
That day, the supporters of the VPP chanted their party slogan, “Ha u Prah”, during a rally led by NPP candidate Ampareen Lyngdoh. This triggered an altercation between the two groups leading to the violence. The timely intervention by Lyngdoh prevented the escalation of the clashes.
Prompt intervention by the law enforcement authorities also helped quell the situation. Some people were detained for questioning at the Umsning police station.
However, that was not the end of it as the VPP supporters disrupted another election meeting of the NPP at Jaiaw Pdengshnong later that evening.
VPP demands proof of supporters’ involvement in disturbances
The VPP on Tuesday dismissed NPP leader Pyniaid Sing Syiem’s allegation that the party created disturbances during the NPP meeting at Umsning as baseless and unfounded. It termed the police action as abusive.
“The VPP demands that he should produce material evidence to prove that those who shouted “Ha U Prah” slogans were the members of the party or sponsored by us or even our sympathisers,” said VPP spokesperson Batskhem Myrboh.
“It is unfortunate that mere sloganeering by one or two unorganized individuals would lead to physical attack and abuse. The attacker should be booked as per relevant provision of law,” he demanded.
Slamming the NPP, Myrboh said, “The reaction of the NPP leaders only exposes their level of frustration and lack of maturity to handle even petty matters.”
“What is even more dangerous was the command that was made to the police officers to make an arrest, without following the due process of law, of a simple ordinary citizen for mere sloganeering. This amply shows how abusive the NPP leaders are and no wonders that people are venting out their frustration at them,” he added.
The VPP urged its sympathizers to avoid making unnecessary sloganeering against the leaders they dislike and maintain propriety in the society. The best revenge is the revenge in the ballot, the party said.
“Further, we also would like to impress upon our sympathisers to be cautious against any planted attempt made by the MDA allies to defame the party for their purpose of gaining sympathy votes,” he added.
UDP chief Metbah Lyngdoh said he does not have the details of the Umsning incident. He said every political party has the right to campaign and every political party should be given the right to express itself in the public platform.

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