Shillong, Sep 24: The state government said the offices of the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police were not consulted prior to granting of permission by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council to hold fishing competition.
A statement tabled in the Assembly by Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Home, Prestone Tynsong on September 22 said that henceforth, the deputy commissioner has to be intimated prior to the granting of permission by the district councils.
His response was following the incident of death of a baby in a vehicle soon after delivery due to traffic snarl in West Khasi Hills.
Tynsong said on September 16, a fishing competition took place at Pamphyrnai, Ksehkohlong. West Khasi Hills, organised by local entities. Due to the haphazard parking arrangements, substantial traffic congestion occurred along the Nongstoin-Shillong National Highway, causing inconvenience to the people.
To mitigate this situation, traffic personnel were immediately dispatched to manage and clear the snarl in the affected area.
On September 17, reports emerged on various social media platforms and regional news detailing the distressing incident of a pregnant lady inside a tourist taxi (ML-06A/2387) on her way to Shillong, who lost her baby due to the traffic jam that had formed at Pamphyrnai, Ksehkohlong, before being taken to Holy Cross Hospital Mairang, Eastern West Khasi Hills District.
According to Tynsong ,the law enforcement agencies acted diligently by deploying police personnel to maintain law and order and clear the road of traffic congestion, but unfortunately, the organisers failed to make adequate parking arrangements for such a significant event, resulting in traffic chaos and inconvenience for travellers on the national highway. Despite requests from the police, the organisers did not provide any traffic volunteers to assist the traffic police on duty, he said.
In response to the incident, a meeting was convened by the Deputy Commissioner, West Khasi Hills, on September 19, wherein it was decided to initiate a magisterial enquiry into the matter.
A suo motu case has also been registered in connection with the incident against the organisers of the fishing competition at Nongstoin police station under section 336/304A of Indian Penal Code.
“Investigation into the matter is going on and action is being initiated against the individuals responsible, as per the law”, he said.
Tynsong reiterated that the permission for the event was issued by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and the views of the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of West Khasi Hills District were not taken.
He also referred to the order of September 19 from the Deputy Commissioner, West Khasi Hills District, revoking the permission for holding fishing competitions within the jurisdiction of West Khasi Hills, granted by Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.
A meeting was convened by the Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, District Council Affairs Department, on September 6 to discuss the notification on administration and control of holding of fishing competitions by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.
“It was decided that the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council may be requested to consider the subject in its entirety and to evolve comprehensive Regulations, Rules to address all aspects of the matter in consonance with all the prevailing laws, including laws on the protection of the environment. Beside these aspects, there are other factors that require consideration such as preservation of fish species alongwith water bodies and payment of relevant fees”, Tynsong said.
It was also suggested that permission in this regard may be issued by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council only after clearance has been received from the Deputy Commissioner concerned with regard to law & order, traffic and compliance with the Amusement & Betting Act of the State of Meghalaya.
The government is considering laying down clear guidelines in consultation with all concerned departments for such events in future, Tynsong added.