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Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Wednesday said that there are strong possibilities that the sudden re-emergence of the Ichamati issue is linked with next year’s Assembly elections in West Bengal.
“We are aware that the West Bengal Assembly elections are scheduled in 2021. Maybe it is linked with the elections, since different organisations are demanding for better protection of the Bengali population residing in Meghalaya,” Rymbui said.
He, however, pointed out that through these representations, they are doing more harm since the Bengali population in Meghalaya is living with no fear despite the Ichamati incident which had taken place a few months back.
On the report submitted by the State Government to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Meghalaya Home Minister said that inquiry reports revealed that the allegations were “baseless”.
The East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner and District police had ordered separate inquiries after complaints were received on the atrocities against the non-tribal population at Ichamati and Bholaganj areas in East Khasi Hills.
“Both the inquiries had found that the allegations were baseless. There is no law and order tension in Ichamati. The tribal and non-tribal residents are living in harmony. It is not right to give a communal colour to any incident,” Rymbui said.
When asked about the representation sent by the three individuals to Governor recently, he said that everybody may express their opinion but not at the cost of creating enmity.
“They should not try to vitiate the atmosphere and create law and order problem in the State,” he added.
“I am not privy to the discussion and the memorandum submitted by these individuals to the Governor. But I can only clarify that all the allegations which they had made are false,” the Meghalaya Home Minister said.
When asked if the Government anticipate communal tension given the developments over the Ichamati issue especially with the NGOs starting to protest, Rymbui said the Government is vigilant and will take all measures to see that there is no disruption to the peace and tranquillity in the State.
On the steps taken with the Durga puja celebrations just a few days away, he said that the people of the State respect all religious festivals.
“I don’t see anything that will happen during this festive season. It is the duty of the Government to take extra measures during this festive season,” Meghalaya Home Minister said.
Reacting to rumours on social media platforms, which can trigger communal tension, he urged the people not to fall prey to such rumours without verifying the facts.
“I am aware that there are anti-social elements who are trying to incite communal tension on social media. The cyber-crime cell is looking into this. The police cannot swing into action since the people who are misusing the social media are using the VPN of other countries,” Rymbui added.