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Vote, prods Mooshahary

- Focus on ANVC pact, women, border in R-Day speech

Shillong, Jan. 27: Meghalaya governor R.S. Mooshahary yesterday called upon the electorate, particularly youths, to exercise their right of franchise without fear or favour during the upcoming Assembly elections.

Speaking at the 64th Republic Day function held at Polo ground here yesterday after unfurling the national flag, Mooshahary said, “I call upon the people, particularly the youth, to exercise their right of franchise freely without fear or favour, according to their best judgement and maintain the best traditions of peace and harmony during the run-up to the elections and during conduct of poll.”

Meghalaya will vote for its 60-member Legislative Assembly on February 23.

Mooshahary solicited people’s active cooperation to bring about a change. “We have to work hand in hand — government and the people. I appeal to all citizens to extend their full support and cooperation to the government in implementing developmental programmes and attempts to maintain peace and order.”

Internal security: Drawing his attention to the internal security scenario, the governor said by and large it has been “satisfactory” but he appealed to militant groups to abjure violence.

“Some moribund extremist outfit try to enforce strikes on every Republic Day and Independence Day but our alert police have been able to foil their designs and maintain normalcy. The state police with the assistance of central forces has also been doing a commendable job in containing the activities of various outfits,” Mooshahary said.

He also said the signing of the Agreed Text of Settlement between Achik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC), the state government and the Centre was a “positive development” towards peace.

“However, certain groups, especially in Garo hills, have been indulging in extortion, abduction, intimidation and violence thereby disrupting normal life, while professing to be ostensibly fighting for their welfare,” the governor said.

Mooshahary appealed to all militant groups in the state to seek resolution of their demands through established democratic processes.

Crimes against women: On the growing incidents of crimes against women, he said it was a matter of grave concern. “It is a social disgrace that in our state which is known for its respect and care for women, cases of rape and molestation are becoming common occurrences,” Mooshahary said.

Stating while it is important to reform the criminal justice administration to make it more effective and exemplarily deterrent, the family had a great role to play in inculcating values and character.

He said the civil society and traditional institutions should also introspect and debate on this burning issue and come forward with sound and logical suggestions to ensure safety to womenfolk.

Mooshahary also asked the police to be visible and trustworthy.

Border issues: In relation to the international border, Mooshahary said a protocol was signed during the last visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka and expressed hope it would be ratified soon by both countries for proper delineation and definition of the borders on the ground.

On the inter-state boundary, he said an understanding is required to be reached quickly to alleviate the hardships faced by those living in the pockets where differences exist over the alignment of the boundary.


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