Sangma under EC scanner for circulating free CDs

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Shillong, Feb 08 (UNI) Former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP's Chief Ministerial candidate Purno A Sangma has come under the scanner of the state Election Commission for circulating free CDs of the September 30, 2005 police firings in Tura and Williamnagar.

As many as nine students were killed over the issue of revamping and restructuring the Meghalaya Board of School Education.

Mr Sangma is contesting the March three Assembly elections from Tura constituency.

Yesterday, the influtential Garo Students' Union (GSU) lodged a formal complaint with West Garo Hills District Magistrate-cum- Returning Officer E P Kharbih about the former Lok Sabha Speaker's alleged attempt to gain electoral mileage out of the firing incidents.

The CD titled ''Chakat A'chik Me'a Me'chik'', which means ''Arise Garo men and women'', was supposed to be part of the NCP's election campaign.

It shows Mr Sangma, the Lok Sabha MP from Tura, speaking on the need to bring about a change for the betterment of Garo Hills as well as Meghalaya.

'' We lodged the complaint against Sangma after the victims' families raised objections on distributing CD's containing the twin police firing incident, '' GSU president Ujjal Sangma told UNI over the phone from Tura.

The CD also has video-clippings of Mr Sangma meetings with top leaders of the world, including former US President Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth of England and the king of Saudia Arabia.

Stating that the September 30 incident was an "emotional issue" for the people of Garo Hills, Mr Sangma said the NCP should have desisted from politicising it just for getting votes.

'' We didn't expect a veteran political leader of the stature of Mr Sangma to politicise the issue, '' he said.

However, the NCP rubbished the allegations and said the NCP detractors were making these accusations to confuse the electorate.

Meanwhile, the state Election Department had asked the Returning Officer of West Garo Hills to look into the matter.

'' We are looking into the matter and the department will act accordingly, '' state Chief Electoral Officer P.Naik said.

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