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Police to chargesheet headman

Shillong, June 7: Police have decided to chargesheet the headman of Mawsynram, Artowel Kharshandi, for his role in the alleged diversion of foodgrains and the ostracisation of 17 families who had exposed the corruption.

A police official today said they are preparing a report to be submitted to the court soon. Earlier a magisterial inquiry has been ordered, following the ostracisation of 17 families from Dongrum, Mawsynram, in East Khasi Hills last July, for filing a right to information (RTI) application, which revealed huge diversion of PDS items by the wife of the headman.

The headman of Mawsynram later convened a dorbar and took a decision to ex-communicate the 17 families. According to the RTI findings of the 17 families obtained in April last year, the villagers were not given PDS items, including rice and sugar, since 2002, by Asorda Marbaniang, wife of the headman, who is the distributor of these items.

The residents alleged that the rice was not distributed for 34 months to the below poverty line (BPL) families, 38 months to Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) beneficiaries, and sugar was not distributed for 98 months.

Originally the fair price shop dealer for Mawsynram was Kharchandi, but he later transferred the dealership to his wife after he was elected headman.

The matter was reported by the villagers to the joint director of supply C. Nongspung, with the help of Agnes Kharshiing, president of the Shillong-based NGO, Civil Society Women’s Organisation.

The director then filed an FIR at Mawsynram police station in May last year and was withdrawn later after an assurance from the distributor of PDS items that she will rectify the mistakes.

However, the withdrawal of FIR had resulted in the criticism from the residents of Mawsynram, which prompted the police to carry on with the investigation.