Thursday, June 20, 2024

Ri-Bhoi villagers boycott DC meet for peace parleys


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From Our Correspondent

NONGPOH, May 27: The leaders and residents of Erpakon village in Ri-Bhoi on Monday unanimously boycotted a peace meeting, organised by the Office of Ri-Bhoi Deputy Commissioner, which intended to mediate between the villagers and RN Sharma Hotel.
In an attempt to iron out the tensions precipitated by the homicide of a man from the village, the Deputy Commissioner’s Office had called for a peace meeting on Monday afternoon, involving youth organisations, women organisations as well as the village Dorbar.
However, in a separate village meeting held on Monday morning, the villagers decided to refuse participation, citing unresolved issues from a previous meeting and dissatisfaction with the district administration’s responses.
Erpakon village general secretary Lambor Kharshilot stated that the villagers unanimously decided to boycott the meeting.
The villagers had accused RN Sharma, the hotel operator, of illegally employing non-tribals, one of whom allegedly murdered a fellow villager.
The incident occurred on May 11, 2024, when one Raju Rajbhar, an employee of RN Sharma Hotel, allegedly killed Kyrmen Lyngdoh Nonglait during a drunken altercation.
Meanwhile, the village secretary emphasised that the hotel has been operated by Sharma without a valid No-Objection Certificate (NOC) since 2016.
Kharshilot said that despite the expired NOC, Sharma continued operations and continued to bring in non-tribal employees.
The villagers demand that the only way to restore peace and normalcy in the village is for Sharma to leave the village.
Further, the village leaders also aired their frustration with the district administration’s handling of the situation. They believe the administration should focus more on supporting the family of the victim rather than mediating with the hotel operator.
The Dorbar Pyllun of Erpakon has conveyed its respect to the district authorities but firmly stated its refusal to participate in future peace meetings until their concerns are adequately addressed.


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