The House met at 10.00 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Private Member's Business.
Starred question No.321 lapsed since the questioner was not present. Starred questions Nos.322 to 336 with Supplementaries thereto, replied, Nos.337 to 386 without supplementary were disposed of. Unstarred questions Nos.117 to 157 to which written replies were given, laid on the tables.
(1). Shri J.D. Pohrmen, Minister incharge P.W.D. laid a statement on the table of the House in connection with the replies to supplementary question on Starred question No.3(b) of 10.3.97 on the table of the House.
(2). Shri T.C. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Sports & Youth Affairs laid a statement on the table of the House in connection with his reply to Starred question No.129 on 21.3.97.
(3). Dr. Mukul Sangma, Parliamentary Secretary incharge Border Areas Development laid the list of Schemes sanctioned under the Central assistance with reference to Starred question No.197 of 31.3.97 laid on the table of the House.
(4). Shri A.C. Marak, Minister incharge District Council Affairs laid a copy of the Buria Committee Report on the table of the House.
(5). Dr. R.C. Laloo, Minister incharge Finance laid a copy of the Third Meghalaya Pay Commission Report on the table of the House.
(1). Under Rule 49(a) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri E.K. Mawlong raised a matter of great public importance with regard to the need to take adequate measures to preserve the rare indigenous medicinal plants available in the State which are used in the traditional herbal treatment as well as in the field of allopathic and homeopathic medical treatment.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh participated.
In reply to the zero hour, Shri H.L. Nongsiang Minister incharge Forest, informed the hon. Member from Umroi that the State of Meghalaya is endowed with large varieties of medicinal herbs, shrubs and plants, even those which are considered as rich, are very important for their therapeutic effects and that the State Government is having a scheme known as the Medicinal Plants Scheme in which the Forest Department through the Silviculture Division has conducted surveys and identified several medicinal plants which are available in the State.
He read out the names of 119 medicinal plants that have been systematically highlighted in the book entitled "Local Health Tradition in Meghalaya ". He also stated that the Silviculture Division of the Forest Department in consultation with the Herbal Plants practitioners and Botanical Survey of India, is still continuing its efforts to locate and identify many more medicinal plants which have not been identified so far.
(2). Under Rule 49(a) Shri C. Lyngdoh raised a matter of great public importance with regard to the necessity to provide a separate parking place for the vehicles coming from the Ri Bhoi District in Iewduh area.
He urged the Government to convert the plot of land formerly used as motor station just opposite G.S. Road near the Khasi Hills District Council with a parking place for the vehicles coming from Ri Bhoi District.
( The Minister i/c Urban Affairs laid a statement on the table of the House ).
(3). Under Rule 49(a) Smti R. Warjri, raised a matter of great public importance with regard to the continued strike of the truck owners in the State and in the country affecting the prices of essential commodities in particular and other goods in general and the need to take necessary steps to face the probable scarcity of these commodities in the event of the continued strike.
She wanted to know whether it is necessary to invoke the Essential Services Act and requested the Government to take necessary steps to monitor artificial price rise as well as to ensure that the P.D.S. is not affected in the State.
( The Minister incharge Transport to lay a Statement on the table of the House ).
(1). Under Rule 54, Shri A. Lyngdoh, called the attention of the Minister incharge Home to the news item published in the local daily "Apphira" dt. March 28, 1997 under the caption "Indian Army enters Nongphyllut Village".
Quoting from the news item, he wanted clarification as to whether the Defence Ministry had consulted the Government before deploying the army operation inside the territory of Meghalaya and whether the State Government had receive any memorandum from the villagers of this area ?
Shri Salseng C. Marak, Chief Minister, in reply to the calling attention, apprised the hon. Member from Laban that reports were received that army operations in some villages of Nongphyllut Elaka and that one Bhawan Chyrmang had gone to the area for hunting on 22.3.97 and was illegally beaten up by the army personnel when found with his licensed gun but was later released after he produced his license to them. He stated that the areas where army carried out its operation were in the disputed areas of Block I in Karbi Anglong District and that in view of the problem in our neighboring State, the Central Government in 1991,declared as 20 K.M. wide belt along the border of Meghalaya with the State of Assam as disturbed area. He also mentioned that no memorandum have been received by the District administration in this regard.
(2). Under Rule 54, Shri E.K. Mawlong called the attention of the Minister incharge Labour to a new items published in "U Rupang" dated 20-2-97, under the caption "Hukum ka Supreme Court sha Jylla, wat tuklar thung kam ha ki ophis Sorkar India".
He wanted to know of the latest position vis-a-vis the ruling of the Supreme Court in this regard.
(The Minister incharge Labour laid a copy of the Statement on the table of the House).
(3). Under Rule 54, Shri P.D. Sangma, called the attention of the Chief Minister to a news item published in the "Telegraph" dated 27-3-97 under the caption "Minister sues IAS Officer for Rs.5 (five) Crores".
He wanted to know the reason why the Minister incharge has to file a case against the official who was headed the One-Man-Commission of Enquiry.
(The Chief Minister laid a copy of the Statement on the table of the House).
Shri E.K. Mawlong moved the motion Under Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. Initiating the discussion, he strongly condemned the action of the Army personnel that has badly affected the image and dignity of the Members of this august House. He stated that such action should be condemned by one and all and suggested that appropriated action should be taken against the army officers involved.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh took part and narrated the circumstances leading to the unfortunate incident on 5.4.97. He asked in the Police are not having the power to control the military and the Government stand for permitting the trial of the guilty army personnel in the Civil Court and also the kind of redress which is civilian can obtain in this regard.
Shri H.S. Lyngdoh also took part and condemned the action of the Military Officers.
Smti R. Warjri stated that no one should be above the law, be it a man with uniform or not. She wondered if the law of the land cannot be made applicable to the army personnel and suggested the adoption of a resolution by this House to unanimously condemn the action of the army personnel to be tried in the Civil Court.
Shri G.S. Massar and Shri J.D. Pohrmen, Minister incharge P.W.D. while condemning the action of the army personnel, suggested that the hon. Member from Jaiaw may submit a complaint to the Hon. Speaker who can refer the whole issue to the Privileges Committee under the provisions of the Rules and to adopt a resolution by this House condemning the action of the army personnel.
Other participants included (1) Shri S.L. Marbaniang, (2) Shri T.N. Marak (3) Shri D.N. Joshi and (4) Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Leader of the Opposition. All of them expressed similar views and called for action on the guilty army officer.
In reply to the points raised by the mover and other members who took part in the discussion on the special motion, the State Home Minister, Shri J.M. Pariat apprised the House that steps have been taken to being the guilty army personnel to book and that all efforts are on both from the side of the Army general incharge 101 Command as well as from the Police Department to see that such unfortunate incidents do not occur in future. He stated the State Government had registered a case on 6th April, 1997 and have forwarded the intimation to produce these two erring officers within the next few days when a law shall take its own course. He assured the House that depending on the outcome of the enquiry, suitable disciplinary action will be taken against the defaulters. He also replied to the other points raised by the participants and stated that their points have been taken note for examination by the concerned department.
To the point of clarification by Shri E.K. Mawlong, he stated that an inquiry was instituted to go into the alleged assault by the Police on Shri G.R. Marshillong.
Shri E.K. Mawlong suggested that resolution should be adopted by the House and the matter should be entrusted to the Speaker to form a Committee of three or four members to draft the resolution and then army should be summoned to his Chamber so that an unconditional apology may be tendered before the Speaker and the hon. Member for this incident.
Shri G.S. Massar, suggested that a written complaint should be submitted to the Speaker as per rule of procedure since the House has got the power to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee.
The Chief Minister endorsed the suggestion of Shri G.S. Massar and pleaded that the whole issue should be referred to the Committee on Privileges by the Speaker.
After ascertaining the opinion from the members of both sides of the House, the Speaker, constituted a Committee of six members comprising of the following members to draft the resolution and to submit its report which has to be referred to the Privileges Committee :-
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs.
Shri J.M. Pariat, Minister incharge Home (Police).
Shri S.L. Marbaniang, M.L.A.
Shri E.K. Mawlong, M.L.A.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, M.L.A.
Shri G.S. Massar, M.L.A.
(After 1.30 P.M.)
Shri M. Mukhim, raised a half an hour discussion on matter arising out of replies to Starred question 197 of 31.3.97 by the Minister incharge Agriculture.
He called for a categorical statement from the Minister incharge on the policy of constitution of the technical Committee particularly for this projects that have been damaged in the State.
Shri E.K. Mawlong and Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh took part.
(The sitting of the House was extended till all the remaining business were disposed).
Replying to the discussion, Shri L.A. Sangma, Minister incharge Agriculture apprised the hon. Member from Dienglieng and the other members who participated that restoration work on a emergency basis was being explored with some funds from Irrigation Department and some funds from C & R.D. department under EAS and Million-Wells-Schemes. However, he pointed out that he had ascertained from the spot verification that the hailstorm which lashed the area recently has also damaged potato, cabbage, tomato crops and orange trees which are at flowering stage in some villages and a detailed report was being called for from D.A.O and the D.C. East Khasi Hills District. As regards the technical committee, the Minister incharge stated that it was constituted to prove the serious irregularities while implementing the Madan Nongthrad project because there were irregularities at the implementation stage and with regard to the amount of Rs.4.50 lakhs, he informed the House that it was received on the 27th from the Natural Calamities Fund of the Revenue Department.
Smti R. Warjri, Chairman, Committee on Public Accounts, presented the following reports of the Committee :-
1. The Third Report pertaining to Regularization of Excess granite relating to the Appropriation Accounts.
2. The 24th Report relating to P.W.D.
3. The 25th Report relating to C&R.D. Department.
4. The 26th Report relating to Taxation Department.
5. The 27th Report relating to Home (Police) Department.
1. Shri E.K. Mawlong, presented a petition signed by D. Nongkhlaw regarding non-payment of bills by the Police Department since 1973.
2. Shri M. Mukhim, presented a petition of the inhabitants of Pohshnong Nongryngkoh village regarding non approval of the teacher recommend by the Balang U Krist L.P. School Managing Committee.
Shri H.L. Nongsiang, Minister incharge Forest laid a Report of One Man Enquiry Commission headed by Shri R. Dutta, L.S, Principal Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Finance Department along with the decision of the Government thereof.
The House rose at 2.20 p.m. and stood prorogued.
Sd/- E.L. Lyttan
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.