Tura, Apr 20: The trend of violence against women in Garo Hills continued after a 60 year old woman was assaulted by the VEC secretary of Alokdia village after the victim questioned the siphoning of 4 days of job card wages due to them. Surprisingly when the victim tried to file a complaint on the matter, the police as well as local MLA of Tikrikilla tried to pressure her into settling the matter, instead of pursuing the case further.
The incident, according to the complaint, occurred on the morning of April 16 at about 8 AM when the job card holders of the same village had come to discuss matters pertaining to their VEC.
The VEC secretary, Nogor A Sangma, had earlier demanded 2 days of MGNREGS wages from the villagers but took 4 days of wages instead. When he was questioned by the victim on the matter, he allegedly started punching her in the face and kicking at her in the presence of all other members of the VEC. The incident left the victim traumatized.
Incidentally the assaulter, Sangma is also a government school teacher, which means that he is ineligible for the role of a secretary or president of a VEC.
The woman later wrote a complaint and visited the local outpost of Bogulurbitha under Tikrikilla PS which the police initially refused to register and then upon registration sought a compromise between the parties.
The matter became even more serious allegedly after the local MLA of Tikrikilla, Congressman Jimmy D Sangma also joined in the matter asking her to withdraw the case and compromise with her assaulter.
She however refused to back down leading to threats from some more people, all of who wanted to save the VEC secretary. The MLA however could not be contacted on the matter.
“He assaulted me without any reason and in front of everyone,” said the FIR filed by the assaulted woman.
Finding no hope of action being taken against the assaulter, the victim today approached the deputy commissioner of West Garo Hills, Ram Singh to seek action against the perpetrators.
The DC assured the victim that the matter would be looked into and immediately forwarded the matter to the SP and the BDO of the block where the incident took place.
“Even while she was speaking to the DC, there were calls coming from many places asking her to compromise the case. Why should she do so? The matter should be investigated thoroughly and the culprit booked accordingly. You cannot continue victimizing a 60 year old woman this way,” said activist Jaynie Sangma who is assisting the woman in this case.
The WGH SP, Dr MGR Kumar stated that a preliminary investigation into the case is currently on and if required arrests would be made.