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Traditiol head’s highhandedness comes to the fore

A Correspondent

Shillong, January 4: The Civil Society Women Organisation (CSWO) has alleged that a Rangbah Shnong (village headman) has refused to issue certificates required by two children to get admission into a school.

According to CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing, Skil Dkhar, Rangbah Shnong of Dingsyiar, falling under Shella Bhollaganj Block, East Khasi Hills district, has refused to give a certificate to the grandmother, Sril Massar, (65), of the two minor children aged 9 and 14. Their mother expired few years back and the father has abandoned them.

The grandmother was trying to get certificates for the children, as she was asked by an officer of child welfare to bring a village certificate so that they can be admitted to a school at Sohra.

Kharshiing alleged that Massar is the grandmother of a rape victim who was raped by the brother of an influential member of the village of Dingsyiar.

“Harassment to families of rape victims seems to be another ploy created by certain headmen, who want to help the accused, with intentions to intimidate and deter families of violence against women from coming forth to file FIR’s against such atrocities,” Kharshiing said.

According to Kharshiing, the rape victim was a minor and the incident occurred on the October 2, 2014.

A month later on the midnight of November 8, 2014, the brother of the accused threw stones at the house of the sister of the rape victim.

“On the November 11, 2014 he went to the extent of burning down the house of the sister of the rape victim, at Dingsyiar, Sohra, East Khasi Hills district,” Kharshiing alleged.

Meanwhile, the CSWO said that it will approach the CEM of the KHADC, Adelbert Nongrum to urge him to remove such headmen who are a “blot to the old age traditiol system”.

The CSWO president said that customarily headmen would not think to encourage such atrocities against women and children and would stand firm to bring to book such perpetrators, so that the society is safe and assured of peace and tranquility. “Harbouring such elements will only give rise to more of these perpetrators who indulge in many other crimes, and in so doing, harm women and children,” Kharshiing said.

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Ankur Kalita

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