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NGOs warn impostors

Tura, May 5: Several pressure groups here have come together to issue a warning to those who have been extorting money in their names from non-tribal colonies.

These people have been using the inner-line permit (ILP) issue to extort money posing as members of influential groups like Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), A’chik Youth Welfare Organisation (AYWO) and Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE), among others.

These groups have condemned the act of the impostors and said those involved in extortion have no connection with their organisations. “We are looking for them,” said Tengsak G. Momin, the president of GSU-CEC. “We have even told our non-Garo friends to inform us immediately if anyone comes to collect money in the name of GSU and we will be taking very strong action against them,” he added.

Non-tribal colonies here have filed a complaint with the district administration saying unknown people visit their localities at night, asking for money. The impostors do a reconnaissance of the area, of the people staying here on rent, and depending on the family size, they have been collecting money ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000 from each household.

“These people are just taking advantage of the situation and trying to make money in the process. We would like to inform all to let us know if they come by so that action can be taken against them. They are just using the opportunity to malign our image and cannot be forgiven,” said Pritam Marak, the FKJGP president of Garo hills.

West Garo Hills deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi said, “We want the people to inform us so that such activities can be stopped. These are very serious offences and need to be handled accordingly. The NGOs have denied any role in the actions of these men and we will take very stern action against anyone caught in these acts.”