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Jirang residents demand release of local detained in Assam

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From Our Correspondent

NONGPOH, July 8: Residents of the Jirang area in Ri-Bhoi, under the banner of Ka Sur U Paidbah Western Ri-Bhoi (Voice of the People of Western Ri-Bhoi), on Monday organised a public rally in Patharkhmah, demanding the immediate release of Bakstar Diengdoh, who was recently detained by the Assam Forest Department.
The protest was participated by women, men, youths, pressure groups, students and community leaders, all carrying flags and banners to express their vehement condemnation of the detention.
The demonstrators also urged the Meghalaya government to take prompt action and engage in dialogue with the Assam government to secure Diengdoh’s unconditional release.
Representatives from Ka Sur U Paidbah Western Ri-Bhoi also attempted to submit a memorandum at the Office of the Patharkhmah Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO). They were, however, unsuccessful in doing so because of the SDO’s absence.
Consequently, the representatives proceeded to Nongpoh to submit their memorandum to the Ri-Bhoi Deputy Commissioner, emphasising their demands for the immediate release of Diengdoh.
During the rally, the community leaders and social activists strongly opposed the Assam Forest Department’s detention of Diengdoh, urging the Meghalaya government to intervene urgently.
They also urged the government to renovate the road from Mawdem to Belahari village, which has been in a dilapidated condition for decades. This issue is believed to have led to the detention of Diengdoh by the Assam Forest Department, as he attempted to renovate the dilapidated road.
Speakers at the rally also condemned the recurring instances of harassment and aggression by the Assam Forest and Police Department, which have repeatedly disturbed the peace and security of border communities.
They highlighted the persistent tensions and conflicts in these areas, attributing them to the coercive actions of the Assam authorities.
The community leaders and activists demanded that the Meghalaya government promptly engage with the Assam government to ensure the immediate release of Diengdoh. They warned that continued harassment and coercion by Assam authorities would compel the affected communities to take more drastic measures to protect their rights and well-being.
Later in the evening, hundreds of protesters, along with their leaders, arrived in Nongpoh and met the Ri-Bhoi Deputy Commissioner Abhilash Baranwal. Following the meeting, the delegation leaders informed media persons that Baranwal had assured them of seriously taking up the matter with his Assam counterpart for Diengdoh’s unconditional release within a day or two.

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