SHILLONG | May 31, 2019:
Last year on this day, the peaceful city of Shillong was on the verge of collapse; peace was disrupted and people of different communities lived in fear of being harassed and worse, becoming victims of communal riots.
It has been one year since the break down of Law and Order and the occurrence of a riot in Motphran and Harijan Colony following a scuffle between two groups.
Post the Motphran incident, a demand for the relocation of the residents of Them Metor grew louder with many terming the area as ‘dangerous’ and ‘unsafe’ for passerby’s.
The demand was also made based on the increase in the population of the residents of the area whereby it was claimed that many of those who live in Harijan Colony are not genuine settlers but ‘immigrants’.
The demand led to the formation of the High Level Committee to look into the relocation of the residents of that area to a new location, however, till date, the HLC is yet to come with a concrete solution to this complex issue.
SECTION 144 CrPC PROMULGATED
Incidentally, the Shillong Municipal Board carried out an Inventory Survey and served notices in Harijan Colony, Mawlonghat, Shillong today, exactly one year since the break down.
In view of this, the District Magistrate, East Khasi Hills District, Shillong has promulgated an Order under Section 144 CrPC prohibiting assembly of five or more persons within a radius of 2 km of Motphran and Harijan Colony.
The order also prohibits any person or group of persons from obstructing any vehicular movement in the area around Motphran and Harijan Colony, carrying of arms and any other lethal weapons or any other item/material having the potential to be used as a weapon which can likely cause grievous injury or harm to any person or persons in and around Motphran and Harijan Colony. The order will not be applicable to the Security Forces on duty.
The order was necessitated to prevent some vested interest/anti social elements from taking advantage of the sensitive and volatile situation during the Survey thereby affecting the Law and Order and disruption of peace and tranquility in the area.
The Order came into force with immediate effect and remain in force till further orders.
WHERE IS THE HLC HEADING?
The Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) today servcied notice to over 300 households at Them Metor, Iew Mawlong. The notices were served as per the directive of the High Level Committee (HLC) to re-conduct the inventorisation exercise at Them Metor in the form of public notice.
The SMB officials, who were accompanied by district magistrates, pasted the notices outside the houses of the resident in the area.
As per the notice, the settlers at Them Metor have been asked to furnish their information before the Board from June 3 to July 3 with regards to their possession of either piece of land, building in the colony and the period of their occupation. The residents will require to submit documents to the CEO of the SMB to prove that they are legally settling in the area.
The SMB CEO B Sohliya said that there was no obstruction and the whole process was carried out smoothly. “The notices were pasted in the units in the presence of magistrates and police team,” the SMB CEO said. The HLC has given one month time to the settlers of the area to submit their papers and other documents before the Shillong Municipal Board.
It may be recalled Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong, who is also the chairman of the HLC, had stated that the committee expects the people who are residing at Them Metor to cooperate by coming forward to submit their documents. The Deputy Chief Minister stated that the genuine settlers should not feel afraid as the Government would ensure that they are fully protected. “We have 128 employees of the SMB and another 56 who are serving in the different departments are currently residing at Them Metor. Therefore, the Government would ensure that they are protected,” Tynsong said.
It may be mentioned the staff of the SMB did not get the cooperation from the people residing the Sweeper’s Lane during the first inventory survey, which was carried out last year. Besides listing the houses, the SMB was supposed to take the head counts of the people residing in the area as part of the exercise. The SMB was not able to make head counts of the people residing in the area since majority of the houses were locked.
After the inventorisation process, the HLC will examine all relevant records and documents relating to the relocation of residents of Them Iew Mawlong. The committee will recommend practically feasible solution(s) for relocation of the said sweeper colony residents.