Members of the Khasi Student’s Union (KSU), North Khasi Hills District unit today took to the streets to protest against the visit of the All Bengali Youth & Students Organization (ABYSO).
The ABYSO led by its president Chandan Chatterjee wanted to visit Ichamati in East Khasi Hills District to take stock of the alleged “institutionalised harassment” of non-tribal women and children.
While the State government has denied permission sought by the organisation for the visit, the KSU members gathered at Pahammawlein in Ri Bhoi with a protest that the ABYSO is trying to meddle into the affairs of the state and to disturb peace.
Reportedly, the ABYSO had sought permission and security from the Meghalaya government.
Under Secretary, Home (Political) Department, P Jyrwa had written to the organisation informing that their application for permission was rejected and that government has conducted an enquiry into the allegations and a report was submitted to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
The letter also said that an enquiry was ordered by Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills district comprising the members of the District Child Protection Committee wherein a joint inspection was conducted at Ichamati.
It may be mentioned that a Guwahati-based NGO, the Forum for Indigenous Rights North East India (FIRNEI), has alleged that there is an ongoing ‘Hindu exodus’ from Ichamati, East Khasi Hills, which has been going on with the connivance of state authorities.
Since the middle of last month FIRNEI and one Gayatrri Borpatra Gohain began petitioning the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, National Commission for Women and the NCPCR, alleging that there was “institutional harassment” of women and children in Bholaganj, Ichamati, Kalibari and Kalatek villages.
Following the petition, a delegation of three residents of the area also met Governor Satya Pal Malik alleging harassment and atrocities by NGO’s and other state machineries like district council to people residing in the interior and border areas.
Ichamati had been the centre of unrest in the state after the February 28 incident where a member of the Khasi Students Union was killed there by a group of suspected non-Khasi residents.