SHILLONG, Jan 31: The Indian Air Force (IAF) station at Eastern Air Command headquarters in Upper Shillong in Meghalaya has asked the personnel to shoot anyone who trespasses into their compound.
One of the influential NGO in the state, the Federation of Khasi Jaiñtia and Garo People (FKJGP) today alleged that the IAF have put up posters at many places in and around the air force station from Hynñiew Mer (Upper Shillong) to Mawnianglah and Mawkhan warning that trespassers would be shot if they try to sneak into the Air Force Station.
In a memorandum submitted to Deputy Commissioner (DC) of East Khasi Hills, the FKJGP has urged her office to intervene into this matter.
The FKJGP also urged the DC to take up the matter with the IAF to ensure the age-old good relationship between the defence forces and civilians of the area.
“We understand that trespassing into any high security premises is a criminal offence, but this kind of threat of use of force by shooting has caused concern among local residents as none of them so far have any ill-will against the IAF or has there been any case of trespassing into the IAF premises since the Eastern Air Command (EAC) was shifted to the area since June 1963,” FKJGP Upper Shillong President Kitboklang Nongphlang said in the memorandum.
Nongphalng also stated that, the people of the area are simple villagers and they would daily move outside the boundary wall for their day-to-day activities and any error of judgment by either the simple villagers or the armed IAF personnel could result in fatality given the threat already given in such IAF posters.
Meanwhile, the IAF in its clarification said, “It’s not a threat. It’s warning & information, which is normal for all military establishments, which have closed compound,” Defence PRO Ratnakar Singh said.
He also said that the village heads have already been sensitised and prior intimation has already been sent to the Superintendent of Police, East Khasi Hills.