Imphal, Nov 10,
The Centre for Research and Advocacy (CRA), Manipur has condemn the brutal attack on Ms. Agnes Kharshiing, President of Civil Society Women’s Organization on 8th November 2018 at East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya in North East India during her documentation of illegal coal mining and corruptive practices. Her companion Anita Sangma was also attacked.
A statement by the CRA said, Ms. Agnes Kharshiing was brutally assaulted by a group of people at Tuber Shohshrieh, East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya on 8th November 2019, while documenting the illegal mining and transportation of coal in the area. The attack reportedly happened after Ms. Agnes took photographs of several trucks loading coal illegally in Tuber Shohshrieh area in Meghalaya. The attack has left Ms. Agnes with serious injuries in her head and body. She is under treatment at the NEIGRIMS Hospital in Shillong and is currently in the Intensive Care Unit due to her serious condition.
Ms. Agnes is a well-known human rights defender, proactive in denouncing illegal mining of Coal and Limestone in Jaintia Hills and other parts of Meghalaya in clear violation of the National Green Tribunal and other environment laws. There are serious concerns that the attack was carried out by the coal mafias operating in Meghalaya, who is opposed to exposition of illegal coal mining and corruption.
The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur express concern with the increased case of targeting of human rights defenders across India’s North East, which involves direct targeting of community leaders and the curtailing of the functioning of human rights organizations, undermining the crucial role of civil societies in fostering a democratic, an accountable and human rights oriented development processes in Meghalaya and across India’s North East.
The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur would like to urge upon the Government of Meghalaya to take urgent steps to Investigate and arrest those personal involved in the attack of Ms. Agnes Kharshiing and her companion Anita Sangma. The Government of Meghalaya should stop illegal mining of Coal and Limestone in Meghalaya. The Government of India should stop all forms of harassment and targeting of indigenous human rights defenders and curtailment of the functioning of human rights organizations and uphold the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, 1999. The Government should take urgent steps to protect the rights of human rights defenders in Meghalaya and across India’s North East.
- Published in News