Tura, Aug. 27: Several NGOs in South Garo Hills today raised a demand for the appointment of an IAS officer as the deputy commissioner of the district. They have threatened to launch an indefinite strike if the government fails to fulfil their demand.
“We urge the government to immediately appoint an IAS officer as the deputy commissioner of South Garo Hills,” said Sengraph Sangma, an activist of the joint action committee (JAC).
Two months back, the then deputy commissioner of the district, Chinmoy Gotmare, was transferred to take charge of higher and technical education as director, in Shillong.
Militants had attacked Gotmare on two occasions.
T.G. Momin, a Meghalaya civil service cadre, is the present acting deputy commissioner of South Garo Hills.
The NGOs feel that in absence of an IAS officer in the district, development activities have taken a back seat.
“All the departments are not functioning properly in the district. The irrigation, horticulture and electricity cooperation departments have literally stopped functioning,” said Thengrak Sangma, another activist of the committee.
The NGOs have sought action against erring officers who fail to attend their duties. The activists also came down heavily on power minister Clement Marak for the erratic power supply.
“The minister has to resign if he cannot live up to the people’s expectations,” said Sangma.
The NGOs had called a strike on Monday and Tuesday.
A group of unidentified gunmen abducted a trader from a remote market in Meghalaya’s West Garo Hills. The suspected militants opened fire at the market. The incident took place at Chibinang near Phulbari town, about 105km from Tura at 7pm. Inspector-general of police, G.H.P. Raju said, “Seven to eight persons, one of them in camouflage attire, opened fire, abducted Jahanuddin and went towards Tikrikilla.”
While fleeing, four were caught by the public and one of them lynched to death.” The other three have been handed over to police.
Local residents told The Telegraph that the militants came in a Sumo and abducted Jahanuddin Ahmed, 45, who runs an electronic goods shop.