The opposition Congress has demanded the state government to provide adequate security along the inter-state border with Assam and take stringent measures to tackle the rising crimes against women and children in the state.
A delegation of three MLAs – Himalaya M Shangpliang (Mawsynram), George B Lyngdoh (Umroi) and Kimfa Sydney Marbaniang (Rambrai-Jyrngam) – met the state’s Director General of Police (DGP) R Chandranathan requesting his intervention on Wednesday.
“We have requested him (DGP) to provide adequate security to our local people at the inter-state border especially at Langpih in West Khasi Hills as we are not ready to let even an inch of our land to go to Assam,” Shangpliang told reporters after the meeting.
He said that the frequent atrocities by Assam police have created a lot of sense of insecurity among the border residents.
“The DGP informed us that he has directed the SP of the district to deploy more security personnel and that a DSP has been stationed at Langpih to ensure safety and security of the people of the area,” Shangpliang said.
Marbaniang said he has urged the DGP to also take up the matter with his counterpart in Assam to prevent any law and order outbreak in the border.
“We have also proposed the setting up of a police outpost in the area and the proposal was also submitted (to the government) by the SP of West Khasi Hills last week. Land has also been made available and now it is up to the government to approve the proposal,” the Rambrai-Jyrngam MLA said.
Shangpliang has also demanded the setting up of a police outpost at Hat-Mawdon under Mawsynram constituency, which is just 300 metres away from Bangladesh.
“I have suggested the need to set up a police outpost and to shift the existing infiltration camp from Hat-Mawdon to other location. The reason being that Hat-Mawdon is a market place and many times, people are using it as a corridor for smuggling goods to Bangladesh,” he said.
Lyngdoh also suggested the need to strengthen the Khapmara police investigatin centre (PIC), which covers around 63 villages including Shillong bye pass that is witnessing many accident cases.
The three legislators have also expressed concern over the increasing crimes against women and children in the state.
“We feel that it seem the perpetrators do not fear the law and most of them were able to get bail after serving only 2-3 months in jail due to slow in the investigation process, submitting of the case dairy and delay in filing of charge sheet,” said Mawsynram MLA.
Shangpliang also quoted the DGP saying that as per police record, over 3,000 cases related to rape and POCSO have been registered in the state during the past 3 years. “This means that the crimes against women and children are quite alarming in Meghalaya,” he said.
“We have suggested the need to take stringent measures and have also urged the DGP to see that such cases are properly investigated to ensure perpetrators do not get bail and are punished as per law,” he further added.
Admitting the need to strengthen the forensic laboratory to facilitate speedy investigation into rape cases, Shangpliang said that the delegation has emphasized that detection and charge sheeting of cases should be supported by substantial evidences.
“That is why forensic is the top most priority here. On this, the DGP has informed that the department has already upgraded the forensic lab in the state and that now they don’t have to send outside the state. He said he would hold a meeting with his officials to strengthen the detection of cases,” he stated.
On the other hand, Umroi MLA said the delegation has also stressed the need to come up with measures to prevent such crimes.
“We have suggested the need to work together with the dorbar shnong, seng longkmie and mothers in view of the increase in the POCSO related cases. If we can create awareness to mothers on how to protect their children and at the same time create awareness about POCSO Act and how it will affect those indulging in such crimes, it will help to prevent such crimes,” he said.
Lyngdoh also suggested that the social welfare department, state’s women commission and child protection commission should work together to combat against such crimes affecting the women and children. “If we have been able to work together in fighting against COVID-19 pandemic, we can also eradicate such evils from the society by working together,” he stated.