Groups demand probe into violence in EJH

Shillong, Aug 25:  Various groups have demanded probe into the violent incident in East Jaintia Hills on April 24 during the public hearing to expand Topcem cement plant.

While activist Joannes JTL Lamare petitioned Meghalaya Human Rights Commission seeking action, HNLC and KHNAM condemned the incident.


Lamare has attached the photographs of persons who sustained injuries along with his petition to the human rights commission.

HITO also filed an FIR with the Lumshnong police station stating that action should taken against those who had instigated the crowd.

The HNLC denounced the brutal act and excessive use of force by the police towards the civilian protesters.

In a statement, HNLC general secretary-cum-publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said, “Additionally, the HNLC condemns the actions of the police, led by a non-tribal SP. The exploitation of mineral resources by cement and coke factories has resulted in detrimental water and environmental pollution.”

KHNAM working president Thomas Passah said the cement plants use the land and resources, damage water bodies and hills, endanger the climate and future so that they can just earn profits and benefits which are self-motivated. “People will be surprised to know these factories have appointed local director and his job profile is solely to handle NGOs and organizations and nothing else”, Passah said.

VPP statement

The Voice of the People has condemned the brutality committed by the district administration and the police force against the peaceful and unarmed villagers including women who protested against the public hearing of the Meghalaya Pollution Control Board for the expansion of the Meghalaya Cements Ltd at Thangskai. “The incident clearly demonstrates that this MDA government is anti-people which is ready to go to any extent to exploit the local populace while serving the interest of the crony capitalists. Development cannot be at the cost of the people and the environment. Right to a peaceful protest is a basic human right. The failure of the state to protect that right shows that democracy is in danger and threatened”, said the party spokesperson Batskhem Myrboh

The District administration and the state government should punish the guilty police personnel, managers and officials of the company while bearing the medical expenses and pay compensation to all the injured, he said.

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