A woman from East Jaintia Hills has claimed to have been ostracised by the village dorbar for exposing corruption in the implementation of the rural employment guarantee scheme (MGNREGS).
Thrina Suchen, of Lama village, informed reporters here today that the dorbar, on November 30, told villagers not to buy essential items from her shop or visit her house.
This was done verbally, she claimed, but the dorbar later put in writing an order that no village resident is allowed to file a Right to Information (RTI) request without the permission from the Waheh Shnong, which would be completely illegal if true. According to Suchen, the dorbar fined her Rs 5,000 after she filed complaints with the BDO and DC on the alleged scams in the village. When she refused to pay the fine, the dorbar ostracised her.
What got her into trouble were allegations she made that the signatures of MGNREGS job card holders in the village had been forged.
As an example of another anomaly, Suchen also pointed out that there was disparity in the amount spent for the construction of a village road in 2018-19. The total amount sanctioned was Rs 10.5 lakh, the amount for wages was Rs 6.3 lakh and the amount for materials was Rs 1.94 lakh, this did not tally with the actual amount and Rs 2, 25,720 was missing.
In addition, RTI queries revealed that Rs 1, 59,082 meant for betel nut plantations was missing, while Rs 3, 37,962 and Rs 75,735 were missing for pineapple and orange plantations respectively. Later, the villagers had to purchase the required items from their own funds, she informed.
“I have had to close down my shop since the villagers don’t come anymore, fearing the diktat of the dorbar,” Suchen said.
She also informed that she had made a complaint to the Khliehriat Block Development Office of the alleged corruption in the implementation of MGNREGS but no action has been initiated.
She had also informed the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner of the ostracism and a magistrate took her statement on Wednesday.