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Office picketing continues in Meghalaya capital

By Staff
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Shillong, Apr 19 (UNI) Normal functioning of the government offices and financial institutions in the Meghalaya capital remained paralysed for the second consecutive day today due to the three-day office picketing by the Khasi Students' Union (KSU).

The office picketing was called to protest the appointment of former state Chief Secretary Mr P J Bazeley as the Chairman of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB).

Educational institutions have been exempted from the picketing.

The East Khasi Hills district administration had earlier clamped the Section 144 of CrPC in view of the office picketing and security was tightened. No untoward incident has been reported from any part of the city.

The government, however, stuck to its gun and made it clear that it would not come under any pressure to change its decision.

''Appointment of a single person would not lead to the problem of unemployment. There should not be any problem in utilising the services of a person who has some experience because the ultimate goal is the development of the state,'' Deputy Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy told reporters yesterday.

''The KSU should not create hurdles in the functioning of the government. This way they would one day start recommending people for different government posts,'' he said.

While the Garo Students Union (GSU) has joined the chorus in protesting the appointment of Mr Bazeley, several social organisations in the Jaintia Hills have supported the appointment.

Meghalaya had seen intense agitation in the later half of last year over the issue of restructuring Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE) that created a virtual rift between the two major communities in the state--Khasis and Garos.

KSU president Samuel Jyrwa, pleading support from the public, said re-appointing a retired government servant would demoralise other eligible officers.

Opposition parties NCP and BJP have also critcised the Congress- led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government's move to reappoint the former chief secretary.

UNI SG BA SHB DS1322

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