Protests over Kharshiing arrest

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 10.11.13
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Shillong, Nov. 9: Condemnation against the arrest of Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO) Agnes Kharshiing has poured in while a local court today sought a report from police on the arrest of the social activist.

“We condemn the actions of police and the administration for arbitrarily arresting Kharshiing on fabricated charges just because she was present and showed solidarity with the villagers of Mawlong-Mawtari and Umsawli when their houses were being demolished by public servants abusing their powers on behalf of the land mafia,” social activist Angela Rangad said in a statement.

The villages fall under the proposed New Shillong Township, about 20km from here.

Kharshiing was arrested yesterday after two FIRs were filed against her. One was filed by an executive engineer of Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA), Banri P.F. Lyngdoh, and another by the driver of an excavator Paulmicky Kharwanning, alleging that they were threatened when they went to conduct the eviction drive in the area.

The CSWO leader has been remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody and two cases were registered against her at Rynjah police station. Sources today said the court had asked for a report from the police on Kharshiing’s arrest after moves to initiate a plea to the court to grant bail to the arrested social activist.

When the report is furnished before the court, it will issue an order on whether Kharshiing would be granted bail, sources added.

“This action (Kharshiing’s arrest) is nothing but an attempt by the government and the land mafia to suppress any attempt of asking questions and bringing to light largescale illegal deals and land grabs. It also reflects that Meghalaya is turning more and more into a police state that clamps down on any form of dissent,” Rangad said.

Sounding a warning, Rangad said struggles for justice can never be suppressed and actions such as these will only strengthen the resolve of the struggling masses.