SHILLONG: The Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) on Sunday condemned the brutal assault on two social activists, Agnes Kharshiing, president of Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO) and her colleague Anita Sangma. The Forum has also urged the Government of Meghalaya to immediately form a ‘Special Investigation Team’ (SIT) to investigate the matter and demanded that all the culprits including the mastermind involved in the attack be arrested and brought to the book at the earliest.
The president of YFPHR, Kh. Phajaton said, “We strongly condemn such continuous attacks on the ‘Environment Defenders’ of the region.”
He further called for upholding the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, 1999. Stating that all should respect the rights of the ‘Human Rights Defenders and Environment Defenders’, the Forum leader said: “Strict monitoring must be initiated to stop coal mining as per the direction made by the NGT.”
It was reported that on November 8 last, Agnes Kharshiing and her colleague were brutally attacked by miscreants while they were tracking the route of the illegal coal-filled trucks and were taking photographs of it at the Tuber Sehshrieh area of East Jaintia Hills District in Meghalaya.
“Continuous brutal attacks on the ‘Human Rights Defenders and Environment Defenders’ are being carried out to suppress the voice of the people and also to ensure that the real facts of illegal activities being carried out by the coal mafias are not exposed,” alleged Kh. Phajaton.
He pointed out that on January 2, 2018, the registration of a Manipur-based NGO was suspended by the Ministry of Home Affairs (FCRA Wing) under the mere suspicion that the NGO was opposing uranium mining at the South West Khasi Hill, and coal as well as limestone mining in East Jaintia Hills.
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