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Amid controversy, NPP legislator defends BSF checkpost in EJH

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, July 4: National People’s Party (NPP) legislator Santa Mary Shylla on Thursday asserted that the state government cannot compel the BSF to remove its checkpost from East Jaintia Hills, owing to protocol and public safety concerns.
The statement from the NPP MLA comes in the wake of growing clamour from pressure groups for the checkpost’s removal due to alleged harassment of locals and illegal infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals.
Shylla emphasised that despite ongoing discussions by the state government, the central government prioritises public safety and insists that protocols must be maintained.
She explained that removing the checkpost would compromise public safety, as it serves critical functions such as curbing smuggling, maintaining border security, and monitoring interactions between India and Bangladesh.
Earlier, the Jaintia National Council (JNC) had urged Home Minister Prestone Tynsong, who is also the deputy chief minister, to remove the BSF checkpost from East Jaintia Hills and strengthen the infiltration check gate.
In its letter, the JNC condemned the alleged harassment incidents reported across the district, particularly in Sonapyrdi, Umbluh, and Dona, where the BSF has set up mobile camps.
The Council also accused the BSF of failing to protect border residents, while referring to an incident in Umkiang village where a local, Sylvanus Dhar, died after being attacked in a stone-pelting incident, allegedly by Bangladeshi nationals.
“After a series of incidents reported from across the district regarding harassment caused to the general public by BSF, which has evoked criticism from various bodies, we JNC condemn these incidents and appeal for immediate removal of the check post of BSF from places like Sonapyrdi, Umbluh, Dona where BSF has set up its mobile camps,” the JNC said in its letter.

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