Congress corners government over attacks on women activists

Shillong: The Congress on Tuesday cornered Meghalaya’s National People’s Party (NPP)-led government in the Assembly over the law and order situation and misuse of government machinery.

Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma demanded a CBI probe into the murder attempt on frontline women’s rights activists Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma, fighting against illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state, voicing doubts about the integrity of the government officials posted in the East Jaintia Hills district.

Initiating a discussion on law and order situation, Congress legislator Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang brought to the notice of the Assembly the attack on a Bhutanese coal-laden truck driver by a bodyguard of Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla besides the arrest of the bodyguard of NPP legislator Ponseng Marak who fired gunshot at Marak’s helper.

“We should hand over the case (murder attempt on women’s activists) to the CBI keeping in mind that the fact today there is a doubt on the integrity of the people posted in those areas (East Jaintia Hills district),” Mukul Sangma said.

Home Minister James Sangma said there was no need for a probe by the central agency as the government had instituted an independent fact-finding inquiry to probe into the attacks on the two prominent civil society group citizens.

“I don’t see a need for a CBI inquiry into the matter,” James said.

Kharshiing, who is also the President of Civil Society Women’s Organisation, and Amita were assaulted by a group of people after they photographed coal-laden trucks on November 8 at Tuber Sohshrieh area in East Jaintia Hills district.

The National Green Tribuanl had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in Meghalaya from April 17, 2014.