The district administration of East Khasi Hills is set for a showdown with members of the Voice of the People Party (VPP) as the latter has called for a sit-in demonstration infront of the Secretariat building tomorrow from 10 am to 4:30 pm.
Officials said that the district administration would not allow any protest gathering in areas around the Secretariat.
However, the VPP has said it would go ahead with the demonstration unless the government reinstates the sacked officials.
Interestingly, the protest called by the VPP coincided with the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Shillong to chair the 71st plenary of the North Eastern Council (NEC). Shah arrived in the city today.
The NEC plenary tomorrow will be attended by senior officers of DONER Ministry and NITI Aayog, governors and chief ministers of North East states including chief secretaries and other senior officers besides heads of Assam Rifles, NEEPCO, NHIDCL, NEDFi, NERCORMS, NERAMAC, NEHHDCL, NESAC and NIC.
It may be mentioned that the VPP called for the protest tomorrow to press for reinstatement of the three Lokayukta officials who were sacked by the State government recently.
The VPP has also decided to resume the demonstration on January 22 if the State government fails to concede to the demand.
The party has appealed to all to take part in the protest in order to force the State government to revoke the termination order on the service of the three Lokayukta officials.
“The termination of the services of the officials concerned is not only an injustice and insult to them but to the entire State and therefore, it is the duty of every right thinking citizen to join in the protest and bring down this government to its knees,” VPP spokesperson Batskhem Myrboh said.
The party has however requested those participating in the demonstration to refrain from resorting to any action that violates law and order and disturb peace and tranquility.
Recently, the State government removed Lokayukta’s Director of Inquiry and Prosecution, Jainal Rymmai and two enquiry officers – Anil K. Sangma and Rymphang Pde. The officials were unceremoniously sacked via WhatsApp messages.
It was this trio who had unearthed an alleged scam worth crores of rupees that purportedly involved NPP MLA, Sanjay Sangma, who is also the brother-in-law of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
Following their investigation, the court of the Lokayukta had charge-sheeted Sanjay Sangma, nine former GHADC executive committee members, two contractors, and a former Principal Secretary of the GHADC.
The investigation followed a complaint by activist Kingstone B Sangma.
The alleged scam in question relates to the construction of a hostel for MDCs of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) in Tura. The project is worth more than Rs 6 crore. The MDC hostel was funded by the central government.
Later, on the recommendation of the State government, the Lokayukta chairperson Bhalang Dhar has appointed Israel W. Ingty as the new Director of the Inquiry Wing and three other members – Challang G. Momin, John Clitzer Sangma and Baniateilang Diengngan.
Yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong claimed that the State government has done its due diligence before terminating the service of the three Lokayukta officials.