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KHADC to take action against erring headmen

FROM OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT

SHILLONG, January 8: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) will put the onus on the traditiol Chiefs of Himas (Chiefdom) in the event of failure to regulate their powers and functions that results in innumerable cases of ostracism and deprivation of benefits to the villagers.

The 10–odd cases reported last year where the village headmen or council decided to either ostracize or to deny the inhabitants of their rights on flimsy and illogical grounds has failed to evoke the direct intervention of the KHADC in spite of being the sole custodian of the traditiol customs, usages and grass roots governce.

KHADC executive member (EM) in charge of Elaka KP Pangniang conceded the fact even as he told The Sentinel that the council is ceased of these confronting issues yet restrained to meddle because the traditiol chiefs known as the Syiems and Sordars have been given the mandate to look into those issues. “The Syiems and Sordar received the Sad (letter of authority) from us to govern without any breach of the bestowed responsibility, yet we see that their intervention in such cases has been negligible,” lamented Pangniang, even as he added that a pro–active policy will henceforth be adopted to “straighten” those curled chiefs and village councils through direct intervention. The direct intervention will incorporate a convention to take suo moto action against any village headman responsible for any inhumane and uncultured treatment on the residents.  The EM Elaka’s thought of a suo motto action is expected to be a word of caution for the headmen against taking any decision that emated out of prejudice, vengeance or to suppress the public voices.  

According to the EM Elaka, failure of the chiefs to check public ostracism, mob lynching on innocent families in the me of witchcraft or checking village–to–village rivalry tantamount to disrespect of the council Sad. Moreover, the EM Elaka said there are many irratiol and bias decisions on matters related to the customary laws and practices, apart from blatant misuse of power by the chiefs and headmen. He felt that this is due to ignorance of the conditions laid in the Sad or deliberate actions that has demeaned the inherited traditiol values, customs and usages.

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Ankur Kalita

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