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Office picketing ends in Meghalaya capital

Written by: Staff

Shillong, Apr 20 (UNI) The Meghalaya government remained firm on its decision of appointing a retired bureaucrat as MESEB chairman even as the three-day office picketing called to protest the KSU move ended today.

The Khasi students' Union called the picketing in the state capital to protest the appointment of former state Chief Secretary P J Bazeley as the chairman of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board.

On the other hand, the government made it clear that it would not come under any pressure to change the decision.

''Appointment of a single person would not add 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.

No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state capital during the picketing hour as office goers preferred to remain indoors to avoid the wrath of agitating student leaders. The government also circulated the ''customary'' instruction to the employees to attend duties. But that did not have any impact for all the offices, except for main secretariat which also had thin presence, were deserted in the past three days.

Educational institutions were exempted from the picketing.

As precautionary measures, the East Khasi Hills district administration had earlier clamped the Section 144 Cr P C in view of the office picketing and security was tightened.

''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,'' Dr Roy 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.

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


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