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Notice over eviction of Dalit Sikhs from Shillong

 
New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) With the decision to evict Dalit Sikhs from the Shillong's Harijan Colony and transferring the ownership of land to the state, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) on Monday issued a notice to the Meghalaya government, seeking an action-taken report.

As per media reports, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, on the recommendations of a high-level committee on the relocation of the community members, ordered changing of the ownership of the land on which the colony was situated to the Urban Affairs Department.

The committee was constituted in June 2018 to look into the demand by the local Khasi outfits for shifting the Sikhs, who have been living in the area for generations. There was communal violence in the area in 2018, which had paralyzed life in Shillong for weeks.

The state government also said the municipal employees living in Harijan Colony will be relocated to the new location where residences would be provided to them.

However, resisting relocation, Harijan Panchayat Committee members claimed attempts were made to evict Sikh residents of Harijan Colony by roping in the local tribal chieftain in 1954 too.

While asking the officials to intervene into the matter and to ensure justice is provided to the victims' families, commission Chairman Vijay Sampla sent the notice to the Chief Secretary, the state government, the Director General of Police, among others.

The Commission asked the authorities to investigate the matter and to submit a report through post or email, based on the facts and information on the action taken on the issues.

Sampla cautioned the officers that if action taken report is not received within the time frame, the Commission might exercise the powers of the civil court conferred on it under Article 338 of the Constitution and issue a summon for personal appearance before the commission in Delhi.

--IANS
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