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Tourism to suffer: LO on law-and-order situation

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SHILLONG, May 9: The prevailing situation concerning law and order in the state, particularly the recent petrol bomb attacks in the state capital, will have a negative impact on state’s tourism sector.
Stating this, Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Ronnie V Lyngdoh expressed concern over the recent incidents of attacks on government vehicles and properties.
According to Lyngdoh, agitated youth should refrain from taking law into their own hands since this hampers the effort to promote the state as a major tourism destination, besides it repels private investment which would in turn generate employment for the same youth who are frustrated with the system.
“By involving in activities which will create law and order problem, (they) would only aggravate the situation. How will we encourage private investment if the situation is not conducive,” Lyngdoh asked.
Citing an example, he said that the people of Sohra are now looking at tourism sector as an alternative livelihood, especially after the Mawmluh Cherra Cement Limited (MCCL) becoming defunct.
“People are coming up with homestays and resorts in Sohra area. But this initiative will go in vain if we fail to attract tourists to the state,” the LoP said.
Citing the petrol bomb attacks, Lyngdoh said that such actions would affect those dependent on tourism for taking care of their families.
“I understand you have a problem with the government. But you should not do things which affect the livelihood of our own people. There are means of democratic protest,” he said.
Lyngdoh pointed out that the elected representatives can speak for them and raise issues on their behalf.
“Agitation will not lead anywhere. I would appeal to the agitated youth to act maturely,” Lyngdoh said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition leader has also urged upon the state government to reach out to the various NGOs and pressure groups to help in the maintenance of peace and harmony in the state.
“We need to have peace and a conducive atmosphere if the state has to progress on all fronts,” Lyngdoh added.
Multiple petrol bomb attacks have rocked the state capital. One of the most recent incidents involved the escort of NEEPCO Director (Personnel), Maj Gen (retired) RK Jha at Demthring. Bike-borne miscreants had hurled a petrol bomb at a police vehicle, which was the escort of the NEEPCO official, at around 7.30 pm on April 24.
According to the police, the petrol bomb was targetted at the NEEPCO official’s vehicle but it hit the escort vehicle. The attack occurred while the official was on his way to his residence at Laitkor and was caught up in a traffic jam.
On the other hand, unidentified miscreants had lobbed a petrol bomb at the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar at Nongmensong locality here on April 26.

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