Meghalaya: Murder of RTI activist sparks off cries for justice from several quarters

Meghalaya: Murder of RTI activist sparks off cries for justice from several quarters

TNT Desk | Shillong | March 20, 2018

The murder of an RTI activist Poipynhun Majaw in Khliehriat has evoked sharp criticism from several quarters with the majority expressing shock and condemning the incident.

Speaking to TNT- The Northeast Today RTI activist Micheal Syiem said, "This is a very shocking and sad incident, this is the 1st time that an RTI activist has been killed in Meghalaya. It is happening all over India but this is the 1st time in the state. The people who fight for their rights must not be scared even though there are so many threats to their life. There will always be an attempt to put down people who try to fight for the good of society. Despite the physical intimidation and threat, one must not be cowed down but must also be careful".

Home Minister James Sangma also expressed shock at the incident while stating, "Not just this incident, any such incident is not right. The police department is going to look into it and get into the root of this matter. It is unfortunate that such an incident has taken place and the police department is looking into the matter. As a Home Minister I find it very unfortunate and I condemn this incident".

East Shillong Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh also condemned the incident. While speaking to TNT-The Northeast Today, she said, "It is so sad, so heart breaking. The murder of any citizen in the state is something to be condemned. Now the circumstances, in this case particularly are very unfortunate. I am hearing that there is a link through the RTI that he has filed. We need to establish the facts first. I look up to the new home minister James Sangma to do the necessary enquiry at the earliest. If there is any truth to these allegations, then it has set a very bad trend in the days to come. RTI activists are being eliminated. That is a huge message for the state and it is very unfortunate that this trend is setting in the state. I am praying that these allegations are not going to be true. In the meanwhile, my condolences to the family members of the deceased. I am told he was an active, young and enthusiastic person. I regret that there should be any ambiguity around his death to these allegations and I send my heartfelt condolence and I will be alert and will be one of those who will rally on behalf of the deceased if there is any foul play. Enquiry should be made because every citizens has the right to get the information. This is the power of RTI. There is need to give people enough time to investigate into the matter and establish whether the allegations are correct or incorrect but the fact remains, a life has been lost. This man was an activist in his right and it is a big loss to the state and the whole country."

Meanwhile, the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) has condemned the brutal killing of JYF president while recalling his active participation in matters concerning the state. According to Education secretary FKJGP Central body Kitboklang Nongphlang, "It is a big loss not only to Jaintia Hills region but to the whole state."

He also reminded that Majaw was one of the active members of the JYF, which is part of the 13 groups demanding for ILP in the state. Nongphlang also urged the authority to initiate an enquiry into this matter and to book the guilty and punish them as per law. Meanwhile, the federation has also extended its condolences to the family members of the deceased.

Another social organisation — All Jaiñtia Youth Welfare Organisation-Central Body (AJYWO-CB) has strongly condemned the murder of Poipynhun Majaw while demanding the government to conduct an immediate enquiry into the matter.

"People who are involved in this crime are those who keep the lives of others as well as the society in danger and constant fear," said AJYWO-CB Vice President, J.R Siangshai. The organisation has also extended their condolences to the bereaved family of the deceased.

It may be recalled that Poipynhun Majaw, President of JYF (Jaintia Youth Federation) was killed and his body was found in Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills District.

Confirming the murder, police said they were yet to ascertain the cause of death but they suspect that he must have succumbed to his head injuries after being hit by a hard object, possibly an iron rod.

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