Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held on the 22nd June, 1974 at 9.00 A. M. on Saturday with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Present - Mr. Speaker in the Chair-Ministers-Ministers of State and -Members.
Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking Unstarred Question No. 29.
(Replies to which were laid on the Table)
Grants to Fishery Schemes
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :
29. Will the Minister-in-charge of Fisheries be pleased to state-
(a) The amount given in the form of grants to Fisheries Schemes during 1973-74 ?
(b) The amount spent in the Khasi Hills District ?
(c) The amount spent in the area now known as the Ri-Bhoi Administrative Unit ?
Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister of State, Fisheries) replied :
29. (a)- Rupees 1,50,000.00.
(b) -Rupees 60,000.00.
Prof M. N. Majaw : Yes, Sir, 29 (c). Whether this amount includes any grant given to co-operative fishery Societies ?
Shri G. A. Marak (Minister of State, Fisheries) : Yes Sir.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : How many Co-operative Societies received grants under this scheme ?
Shri G. A. Marak (Minister of State, Fisheries) : I required notice Sir.
Shri Maham Singh : May we know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the total area of land brought under fisheries ?
Shri G. A. Marak (Minister of State, Fisheries) : I require notice Sir.
Milk Colony for the Graziers in Bhoi Area
Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi asked :
30. Will the Minister-in-charge of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry be pleased to state -
(a) Whether there is any proposal to start a milk colony for the graziers in the Bhoi Area ?
(b) If So, where and the number thereof ?
(c) If not, why ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry) replied :
30. (a)- No.
(b)- Does not arise.
(c)- The Government of India does not approve such project.
Distribution of improved Potato Seeds
Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :
31. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state -
(a) The quantity of improved Potato Seeds distributed at subsidised rate to farmers under the following Block Development Office :-
(i) Mawryngkneng Development Office.
(ii) Mylliem Development Office.
(iii) Mawphlang Development Office.
(iv) Mairang Development Office.
(v) Mawsynram Development Office.
(vi) Mawkyrwat Development Office.
(b) Whether it is fact that in some of the above Block Officer distribution of the improved potato seeds was not at all done to the farmers ?
(c) If so, why ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :
31. (a)- The quantity of improved Potato Seeds distributed at subsidised to farmers under the following Block Development Offices is :-
(i) Mawryngkneng Development Office
(ii) Mylliem Development Office
2.285 M. T.
(iii) Mawphlang Development Office
1.650 M. T.
(iv) Mairang Development Office
0.650 M. T.
(v) Mawsynram Development Office.
(vi) Mawkyrwat Development Office
(b)-Yes, as shown at (a) (vi) above.
(c)-For two reasons.
(i) The primary object of distribution of improved potato seeds by the Department is to enable our farmers to multiply the seeds. Hence distribution was restricted mostly to areas suitable for potato seeds multiplication.
(ii) No farmer from Mawkyrwat Block came for the seeds while stock was available.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong :31 (c), Sir, In view of answer to (c) (i) may I know whether the Government is aware that in Mawsynram Block potato has not been distributed as described. Whether Government knows about it.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : There is no question about that .
Shri S. D. Khongwir : Who is the authority to decide on the allocation of the requirement of each of the Blocks ?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : The Potato Development Officer.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong : May we know on what basis, Sir ?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : The reply is given in (c) (ii).
Supply of Bone meal in Jaintia Hills
Shri Lewis Bareh asked :
32. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state -
(a) The total amount of subsidy involved for the supply of bone-meal to the cultivators in Jaintia Hills District during the year 1973-74 ?
(b) The quantity of bone-meal supplied to the cultivators during the above period ?
(c) The quantity lifted by the suppliers from the Registered Firm ?
(d) The stock balance of bone-meal during the said period ?
(e) The rate at which the bone-meal was supplied to the cultivators ?
Shri Edwinstone Bareh (Minister, Agriculture ) replied :
32. (a) -Rupees 2,45,762.39.
(b)-1,018.400 M. T.
(c)-We have no registered Firm for supply of bone-meal.
(d)- Does not arise.
(e)- Rupees 60.80 per quintal.
Paddy Cultivation in Reserved Forests
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :
33. Will the Minister-in-charge of Forests be pleased to state -
(a) Whether Government is aware of the fact that there are some areas in Nongkyllem Reserved Forests suitable for paddy cultivation ?
(b) If so, whether Government propose to settle these areas for cultivation of paddy ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Forests) replied :
33. (a)- Yes.
(b)- No, except in accordance with Government policy of exchanging of flats within reserved forests with other neighbouring lands.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Sir, 33 (b). Whether any lands have been exchanged for paddy fields for the Nongkyllem Reserve Forests ?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : No, Sir.
Assessment of Forest Royalty
Shri G. Mylliemngap asked :
34. Will the Minister-in-charge of Forests be pleased to state-
(a) The Yard stick by which Forest Royalty is asserted ?
(b) The total amount of revenue collected during the year 1973-74 out of Forest Royalty ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Forests) replied :
34. (a)- Royalty is fixed on the basis of market prices of timber.
(b)- Rupees 25,72,509.12 P.
Scheme for training in the scientific and modern grazing technique.
Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi asked :
35. Will the Minister-in-charge of Veterinary and Animal
Husbandry be pleased to
(a) Whether Government has taken up any Scheme to train up the children of the existing graziers in the scientific and modern grazing technique ?
(b) If so, how many are getting such training and where ?
(c) If not, why ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry) replied :
(b)-Does not arise.
(c)- Schemes like Intensive Cattle Development, Indo-Danish and Fodder Demonstration Farms provide enough scope for enterprising Cattle breeders to learn the techniques of modern scientific fodder production and conservation.
One month's Advance Pay to the employees.
Shri Humphrey Hadem asked :
36. Will the Minister-in-charge of Finance be pleased to state-
(a) Whether it is a fact that the Government had granted one month's Advance pay to its employees ?
(b) If so, on what conditions the said amount had been granted ?
(c) Whether the recipient had to furnish any agreement on this behalf ?
(d) If so, the form of such agreement ?
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) replied :
36. (a) -Yes.
(b)- Copy of Government letter No. Fin (B) 143/73/1, dated 22nd September, 1973, containing necessary conditions for the drawal of the advance is placed on the Table of the House.
(c)- The recipients are to furnish an undertaking.
(d)- Copy of the form of undertaking is also placed on the Table of the House.
Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :
37. Will the Minister-in-charge of Town Planning be pleased state-
(a) Whether Administrative Approval has been received for the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme ?
(b) If so, the approximate estimate of this scheme ?
(c) Whether the Government has fixed a target for completion of this scheme ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Public Health Engineering replied :
37. (a)- Yes.
(b)- Rupees 3.36 crores.
(c)-Yes. During 5th Plan.
Extensive of Water pipe lines at Tura
Shri Singjan Sangma asked :
38. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Health be pleased to state-
(a) Whether Government propose to take up the scheme for extention of water pipe lines within the area of Tura Town ?
(b) If so, the details of the Scheme ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Public Health Engineering) replied :
38. (a) - Yes.
(b)- The scheme is under investigation.
Amount surrendered by the Planning Department
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :
39. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state the total amount from the Annual Plan Budget of 1973-74 surrendered by the Planning Department as on 15th March, 1974 ?
Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Planning) replied :
39- Hon. Member may kindly refer to the replies to the unstarred question No. 23 given during March, 1974 Session of the Assembly which are reproduced below .
As a result of the review of the position, the following Savings where located in the Annual Plan Budget, 1973-74 of the Planning Department due to the reasons indicated against each item-
Rs. Lakhs Reasons
(as on 15th March, 1974)
Due to non-receipt of calculation machine in time and late joining of technical staff.
Planning and Evaluation
Savings in Travelling Allowance and late joining of staff.
Due to delay in approval of the schemes by the Nationalised Banks and Savings in stipends etc., due to shortfall of trainee, and shortage of techniques personnel.
Rural Works Programme
The probable Savings of the Planning Department as well as of other Departments from the schemes included in the Annual Plan Budget of 1973-74 have been located and re-allocated to other schemes. Thus, there is no likelihood of any shortfall in the plan expenditure except marginally.
Ward Girls in Civil Hospital, Shillong
Prof. Alexander Warjri asked :
40. Will the Minister-in-charge of Health be pleased to state-
(a) The number of Ward Girls saving in the Shillong Civil Hospital ?
(b) Whether the Government follows the rule for reservation of 40 percent of Khasi-Jaintia and 40 percent of Garo Ward Girls in this Hospital ?
(c) The number of Ward girls transferred from Contributory Health Centres to Civil Hospitals and the reasons thereof ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge, of Health) replied :
40. (a)- 7 (Seven).
(b)- Does not arise as appointments were made by the Government of Assam.
(c)-5 (Five). The services of these employees are more useful in the Civil Hospital, Shillong.
Prof. A. Warjri : Sir, 40 (a). To which community these ward girls belong ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : I require notice, Sir.
Prof. A. Warjri : Whether any appointment was made so far by Meghalaya Government.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : No, Sir.
Prof. A. Warjri : Whether any complaint has been received from the staff as well as the patients against these ward girls ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : No, Sir.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Question 40 (c), Sir. Whether the posts in the Contributory Health Centre occupied by the girls who were transferred were filed up subsequently ?
Mr. Speaker : The main question is on the Shillong Civil Hospital.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : The answer is that they were transferred to the Civil Hospital as their services are more useful. Whether their places have been filled up. ?
Mr. Speaker : You mean whether the vacant posts are created by these transfers in the Contributory Health Centres were filled up or not ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : I require notice Sir.
Shri S. D. Khongwir : Does Government consider this existing number as adequate ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :Yes, for the present.
Mr. Speaker : Let us pass to item No. 2. Mr. Winstone Syiemiong to continue the discussion on the Cut Motion against Grant No. 15.
VOTING ON DEMANDS FOR GRANTS
Shri W. Syiemiong :Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday, I was referring to the congestion of the inside of the administrative head quarters of our District. Indeed the very picture inside is very much jumbled up that every conceivable place is packed up with tables, papers and men. Even important papers are scattered on the floor and in the very corridor itself. It is no wonder, therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if this be the condition most of the people do not want to go there if they can avoid even for amelioration of their grievances. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for some time past I have been analyzing the reasons of all these. Not only the condition is like that as I have said, it is also very difficult at times when the people go there and find that nothing can be done in that office. The faces of the people and officials in these offices are very grim and this is a great deterrent. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wonder, therefore, if the policy of the Government should not be changed at all in this concerned deals with the rural people of our State who as Mahatma Gandhi once said " they represent the real people of India". But if we in the urban places also find it difficult to approach that office you can imagine the position of the people from the interior who come here to make a complaint. I remember a particular case, Sir, where in one particular village in my constituency has applied for having a fair price shop in their village which consists of about 50 houses. They have applied since March 1973 but up till now nothing has been done from the office concerned, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that in a sense we may blame these people and the administration in that office but if we go into this further, we will find that there are certainly some genuine drawbacks in this particular administration in discharging its function more effectively. One reason is that perhaps the staff in that office are the most burdened Government servants in the entire State. As far as I understand, Sir, the receipts of correspondence and other allied matters are more in the district office that even in the Secretariat itself. Moreover, these employees are the lowest paid in comparison with the employees in the Directorate and Secretariat level though they are burdened with a heavy workload. Moreover, the work is of such a nature that everything has to be rushed and must be attended these and then. Another reason I found out Sir, is the lack of any further prospect for these people. Some of them have been working for 10 to 15 years without any, promotion. Some remain Lower Division Assistants for 10 year or so in service. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if this be the condition we can hardly wonder if these people wear a long face and grim look, and no wonder if any case has to be disposed of you have to grease their palms. Although I am very much against the principle of greasing somebody's palms, but at times one has to turn a blind eye.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would, therefore, request this Government that side by side with the organisation of new departments and also those that we have inherited from the composite State of Assam this matter should also be taken into consideration, and necessary improvement made to them so that this State of ours would really be that patch of beauty. For example, the first thing we could do is to revise the pay scale of the Staff. I do not see any reason why we cannot do that. If we revise the pay scale the people will get more incentive to work hard, if the buildings are improved and more spacious, I believe the people can work still better and if more appointments are made the pressure of work will also be lessened on them. We have seen that the officers and staff that man these offices are mostly those who have come out of competitive examinations like I.A.S. and A.C.S. cadres. That means that their work is in no case less than the work in the Secretariat administration. And as such I cannot see any reason why these staff should be discriminated against. If the officers are qualified to run the administration in the Secretariat, I feel that the staff have a right to get protection of pay and other things which their officers get. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would, therefore, impress upon the Government to kindly look into this matter seriously and do something so that the administration in the district, especially in our district, as I have said earlier, would be improved. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, with these few words, I move my cut motion.
Mr. Speaker : It has already been moved.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong : But I happen to be the co-mover.
Shri F. K. Mawlot : Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday, the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat, may be by mistaken, had referred to the staff of Nongstoin Civil Sub-division also. While I agree with him that in the Block offices the running of the administration is very slack, but as far as Nongstoin Civil Sub-division is concerned, I disagree with him because as far as have seen these the staff are working very hard and most of them attending offices regularly. So, I would reiterate that these people in the S. D. O.'s office of Nongstoin Civil Sub-division are working very hard and are attending offices regularly.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will now come to other points. With regard to district administration, though I have praised the Nongstoin Civil Sub-division very much, but I am very sorry to say that till today there are still some district offices like the Deputy Inspector of Schools which had not been equipped with full staff. Of course, the D. I. of Schools which had gone there about two months ago and the building which is meant for the Education Department had collapsed because no one was there to occupy since its construction. There are some office like Fishery Department, Agriculture Department and so on which have not been equipped with adequate staff. So, I would request the Government to see to this matter so that these important offices in the Sub-division, may it be in Simsanggri or Nongstoin, should be fully equipped. The administration in the district as the hon. Member from Nongspung has rightly said, is very very inadequate. The reason for this is because of the congestion as well as lack of staff.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sure most of the hon. Members are quite aware that in 1971-72 we were faced with a very big problem, namely the influx of refugees to our State. So, to look after the refugees the Government has entrusted the work on the district administration. And as far as I could see from this advance report of the Comptroller and Auditor General there are so many irregularities, the reason for such irregularities nobody knows. But my assessment is that these irregularities happened because of the inadequate staff or such congestion as Mr. Winstone Syiemiong had rightly pointed out. Some papers might have been lost as we can see that there are still so many documents which the Government has to produce in support of their claims to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was astonished when I glanced at this report that there are lakhs and crores of rupees for which the vouchers were not attached to the statements submitted to the Comptroller and Auditor General. There are a number of tarpaulins reported lost which cost lakhs of rupees.
Mr. Speaker : I do not say that you do not have the right to go into the report of the C. A. G. But according to the procedure this matter is to be examined by the P. A. C. at the first instance. Then this House will have full opportunity to discuss the matter on the light of the findings of the P. A. C.
Shri F. K. Mawlot : I just pass a remark because nobody from the P. A. C. objects. In fact, I want to go to the extent of reading it page by page, but since your opinion is that the P. A. C. is to examine..........
Mr. Speaker : I am pointing out only the procedure that should be followed,
Shri F. K. Mawlot : So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government should have examined the factors which were responsible for these irregularities. I personally feel that if these irregularities are not amendment in time, even this august House may be blamed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have equal responsibilities though we in the opposition benches are very few. But we share the same responsibilities as the Chief Minister and his colleagues do. If anything un toward happens, if anything goes wrong, the State as a whole will be blamed. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have to start from a very small beginning like the district level, then go up to the State level. I am compelled to say that in the district administration there are lots of irregularities as in matters of land acquisition and other things but in services also there are lots of irregularities. I was also one of the staff of the Relief and Rehabilitation Department (Laughter) and during my short service I saw how hard-working and honest some persons were but these persons were not taken into account. Sir, I may be allowed to cite one example : One lady Magistrate was so hard-working, sincere and honest but nobody recognized her work. There is a saying in Khasi : "Nang trei u sninang , nang ioh burom u ksew" which roughly means - the pig has done all the work but it is the dog who has been garlanded. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to go into the details but I would urge upon the Government to have a very thorough post mortem examination of what we have done in the past and to come out with a new approach of doing things better and to try to improve the administration in the district level as well as in the State level.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion. As regards the Civil Administration in the district level I take great pleasure in expressing here that due to the efficiency and stability of the Government and also the efficiency of the district administration that we have been able to sit fully in this Budget Session unlike other State Assemblies (Laughter)
(Voices : Correct)
and were it not for this fact, I think we might have suffered as other representatives in other parts of India, Sir, I am grateful especially to the administration in this particular district. They have established different branches of the district administration with better accommodation to all the different branches. Sir, we may recall the heated discussions during the last Session; and we have talked a lot about the functioning of the supply office of the Khasi Hills district but now the Government has re-organised it in a better and model way. Moreover, Sir, though there were instances of some hartals or strikes here and there, there was nothing in which we have to use force to maintain law and order situation in the State. This is due to the efficiency and stability of the Government with the co-operation of our friends from the Opposition.
(Voices : Thank you)
as well as from the public. They have given full co-operation to maintain law and order in this State of ours. So, Sir, I think the credit is due to the Government as well as to the district administration and the State as a whole. As suggested by the hon. Member from Nongstoin I also think that it is necessary to have some reinforcement in the Nongstoin Civil Sub-division Administration especially for the development of that area known as the Lyngnam area which is the most backward area of our State. Sir, I would appeal, through you, to the Government to equip the administration with better staff especially in the Development Branch of the civil sub-division of Nongstoin and also that of the Simsanggiri civil Sub-division. I think it is absolutely necessary to construct a bridge on the river Simsang to contact the area with Simsanggiri Headquarters which is now re-named Williamnagar. So, Sir, I would appeal to the Government, through you, to consider the absolute necessity of this bridge otherwise the people working there in the civil administration headquarters at Simsanggiri will suffer if the road is closed due to over flow of water for two to three days or even a week and they will be starving there.
I would also like to request to the Government, through you Sir that it is also necessary to appoint more staff especially in the Development Branch of the Ri-Bhoi Administrative Unit which has already been opened by the Government.........(A voice : Hear hear)
I hope that since we do not have any law and order situation here, I would appeal to all the hon. Members and the public at large that we should put our heads together and also devote our time for the development of our State, especially in those areas where it has been notified by the Government as "backward" and "most backward" areas in our State in the different spheres of development such as schools, dispensaries, roads, etc. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support the cut motion on this very very important subject. Sir, the District Administration is, so to say, the agency for execution and implementation of all the schemes and plans of the Government.
Mr. Speaker : Not all; you may say some.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : Almost all, Sir. In respect of administration of justice there is much delay in disposing of the cases. How far I am correct will be evident from the fact that in Nongstoin Subdivision no court has yet been set up in spite of the fact that the Sub-division is already there.
Mr. Speaker : You should have raised this point when the cut motion on administration of justice was discussed. But this is in connection with District Administration.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : Thank you, Sir. Then the Agriculture Department I know the Head of Department and the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture are very very keen for the development of agriculture. But the machine the office that has to execute the schemes of agriculture seems not very keen in this matter. Even for a small thing like registration on the FMC takes months and years. The villages where there is no FMC are deprived of benefits because all the agriculture grants and aids are given through the FMC. Then there is mention about the BDOs. Yes the BDO's office is, so to say, a small Secretariat in its own area. All the schemes will be forwarded to the B. D. O.s for implementation. Then it depends upon the B. D. O. whether to delay the matter or to expedite it. We find, Sit, that whenever we meet any Minister he would forward the application to the D. C and the D. C. would then forward the same to the B. D. O. and ultimately when it comes to the B. D. O. , we do not know what is the fate of such application. Then Sir, there has been a mentioned about the District offices. The District offices are situated in a particular district and the area is so small that there are many leaders who would come to the Deputy Commissioner for their political ends. There are instances where we find sometimes the Deputy Commissioner's office, BDOs office and other District offices are used by the Ruling Party for their political end- I am very frank because I find even in the matter of registration in FMC, there is discrimination. Only very recently, i. e., last year, the supporters of the relief work and other projects. Only this month there was one scheme for Syndai village. I must cite specific instance otherwise you will say I am attacking the Government at random. There was a scheme for Syndai village and for other 2/3 villages. But I do not know what has happened with that scheme. But when I met the BDO he replied what to do, I have been influenced. Even in the Planning Board itself what happens generally ? What happen last month it the Planning Advisory Board's meeting at Jowai while discussing the report of the Board which has been circulated to all the Departments, we find that since the report says something against the District Council, there is a rumours that the Deputy Commissioner is being transferred because he has displeased the then head of the District Council this way poor officers in the District and in the Block offices are handicapped they are not free. Therefore, I would request the Government to issue specific instruction to the District officers, in the interest of good administration, that there should not be any party spirit in the execution of any schemes. With these few words, I support this cut motion.
Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu : Mr. Speaker, Sir, while opposing the cut motion I wish I could move a motion to increase the grant by at least rupees one. Sir, it is a fact that in the district offices we find that most of the schemes are prepared and implemented by the district offices. But Sir, I think it is not correct to say that the offices in the district offices are influenced by any political party either from his side or from the other side. They are free to work. As for example, we were having the test relief works in my area i.e., Sutnga constituency those people who really suffering, those people who have really lost their cultivation, were getting test relief and nearly all the villages without any discrimination. They enjoy the same treatment. Sir, it is also true that just yesterday I had a talk with the Agriculture Department officers and I said that we wanted more agricultural demonstrations in Jaintia Hills because I found that there are a lot of things to be done which the present staff can not cope with the present requirement of the farmers in Jaintia Hills. As far as the Planning Board in Jaintia Hills district is concerned, I feel that that the Board there has done quite a good work that really helped the people in general. Infact, the District Planning Board has also received commendation from the Government. So Sir, I feel that the Government would rather try its level best to see that the offices in the district are adequately provided with more funds and staff. Therefore, before I take my seat. I would express that I oppose this Cut Motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat.
Shri W.A. Sangma ( Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first instance, I would like to thank Mr. Lyngdoh and his friends for giving this House an opportunity, through their Cut Motion, to discuss matters relating to the district administration. However, Sir, it appears that some of the Members have gone beyond the scope of discussion. This particular Grants covers all the set-ups and establishments like the Deputy Commissioner's Office, the Commissioner of Divisions and Sub-Divisions, etc. and as such, there is no scope to discuss matters relating to Education, Agriculture, Block Development and so on. I would therefore, suggest through you, Sir, to the hon. Members to take an appropriate opportunity to discuss problems relating to all the departments of the State at an appropriate time. The mover of this Cut motion, Mr. Lyngdoh, had an occasion to make an observation that there are a number of efficient and diligent officers but there is lack of discipline while attending to their duties. It was alleged also that officers in the district administration who were often required for contact by the public were not found in the officer from 3 p. m. as they have left office and went to Polo ground. If the officer is absent as alleged for anything not connected with duty, then it is indeed very unfortunate . The officer should be there till office hours are over and if he is not available it might be due to some reasons because, as an officer of the district, he should discharge his duties properly the people. But it was their own invention and I would request the hon. Mover to give us specific cases. I am sure Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the hon. Members, either from this side or that side would like to have an opportunity to discuss certain matters in this august House they should try to see that as a result of such discussion, a definite improvement would come out. But it appears to me that when we are moving any particular matter to discuss in this august House, we are not guided by that consideration. On many occasions, we have been guided by that consideration to bring about an improvement. But it appears this particular floor has been taken as a forum where we have an opportunity of post-mortem examination which is not going to help us. I would, therefore, request the hon. Members from both side of the House that if any officer is found not up to the mark, or to be neglecting his duties or not attending to his duties properly, such instances should be brought to the notice of the Government immediately for a timely correction. It is only then that we can bring about efficiency and improvement in the administration. I entirely agree with the views expressed by the hon. Member that the district administration is a very very important set-up. It has a direct link with the people. I will go one step further. In order to improve the administration, the people in the rural areas have an opportunity to bring their problems to the notice of the Government through the district administration as they do not know how Government is functioning at the Secretariat level and the Directorate level. If the district administration is good, efficient and properly attending to the real problems of the people, then they say the State Government is good. But if it happen otherwise, they will have a poor opinion on the Government. I entirely fall in line with the hon. Mover that along with the people is share an cooperation in this aspect, I am sure we will be able to bring about efficiency and improvement in the district administration. It has been alleged that buildings in Shillong are congested. While buildings and houses for accommodation are not adequate, we are all aware of the fact that with the shifting of the capital of Assam more buildings are handed over to us and we were allotted with an additional building to house the Deputy Commissioner's office. I am sure, Sir, soon the congestion would be eased. Mr. Syiemiong suggested that in order to give proper incentive to the staff working in the district administration, their status and scale of pay should be equivalent to that of the staff working in the directorate, to that of the Secretariat. He also argued that we cannot expect efficiency from the staff of the district offices when the scope of promotion is limited. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a suggestion which requires proper examination before we come to any decision. As you know, Sir, we have just inherited the administrative pattern from the Government of Assam. Even if there is any desirability to examine this proposal on the part of the Government, a lot of exercise will have to be done first. Therefore, it is not possible for me at this stage to make any commitment. But I can only say that the proposal is there and Government will have it examined. In fact, we have been exercising whether it will be possible to have some sort of exchange of staff between the district offices and directorate, it is difficult for me to say. But it is only an exercise and we have to give a definite decision about that. I am just informing the hon. Member that we are only exercising our mind on this particular problem.
Mr. Mawlot spoke about Nongstoin Sub-division, and I am glad for the first time, when he referred to his colleague, who has alleged that even in Nongstoin Sub-division, officers were found only on bazaar days but not on any other day. But I am glad because of the information I have gathered from Mr. Mawlot. I will send my congratulations to those officers at Nongstoin Sub-division for their sincerity and hard-working and they must be given more facilities by way of accommodation, and for this Government will look into. In fact Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not find much substance in the remarks made by the hon. Members and most of the remarks are irrelevant. I can only give this assurance that Government will see that the district administration is linked up with the masses and placed on its proper footing. It must be effective and be able to work efficiently to serve between the Government and the masses as a whole. But it will take time for the Government to take up the programme in that line. Apart from a few suggestion that have been placed before this august House, through discussions, we would always welcome concrete suggestions from all Members of both sides of this House as to how we can make the district administration really effective and modern. With these words and humble observations, by way of my reply, I hope the particular purpose for which this cut motion has been brought is served. Therefore, there is no other way to improve the district administration, than what Mr. Nongtdu has said that in future we will require more fund . After hearing my reply I request the hon. Member to kindly withdraw his Cut Motion.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would just like to have one more clarification from the Chief Minister. What is the opinion of the Government in respect of the suggestion that more appointments are to be made and more promotions are to be given in that particular office in view of the extra amount work that they are now having?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, we will have to examine the whole thing in order to improve the district administration, to make it a real modern one because it is linked up between the Government and the masses. That is I generally reply.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Chief Minister, in his reply, has said that most of the points raised are irrelevant. I would request the Chief Minister, through you, to classify the relevant and irrelevant points.
Mr. Speaker : I think I have to point out all the hon. Members that this particular grant concerns with the expenditure in running the Deputy Commissioners office and his subordinate offices. It has nothing to do with agriculture, and education. It has nothing do with any other development work in which most of you have confined. But of course, there is one very serious allegation against the Members of the ruling party that they have tried to influence the district administrators.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I am really grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for pointing out the fact. There is a clear instruction to all the district offices not to get involved either directly or indirectly with any political party. Inspite of this instruction, if particular offices is found involved with any political party or with any of the political activities, then he may be brought to the notice of the Government for necessary action. But just making a general remarks will be wrong, and I may inform the hon. Members that if any specific case is found, it will be better it will be better if they would bring it to the notice of the Government for taking necessary action.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong : In view of the reply given by the Chief Minister to consider all the points raised by us, I withdraw the Cut Motion.
Mr. Speaker : What about Mr. Francis, K. Mawlot . Are you also withdrawing the Cut Motion ?
Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also fall in line with him.
Mr. Speaker : Have the hon. Members leave of the House to withdraw their Cut Motion ?...(voices-Yes, Yes)..... The cut Motion with leave of the Home withdrawn.......Now, let me put the main question. The question is that an amount of Rs. 17,79,800 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1975 for the administration of the head "253-District Administration" (After a pause). The Motion is carried. The demand is passed. Now the Minister-in-charge of Finance to move Grant No. 16.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor , I beg to move than an amount Rs. 6,50,000 be granted to the Minister-incharge to defray certain charge which will come in the course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1975 for the administration of the head "254-Treasury and Accounts Administration".
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Since there is no Cut Motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs. 6,50,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1975 for the administration of the head "254-Treasury and Accounts Administration". The motion is carried, the demand is passed. Now the Chief Minister to move Grant No. 17.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs. 2,12,47,800 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1975 for the administration of the head- "255-Police and 260-Fire Protection and Control."
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. I have received as many as 4 cut motions against the grant. Now, Prof. Majaw to move his cut motion.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I rise a point of order. Now that I oppose the cut-motion to be moved, but I only would like to draw the attention of the hon. Member of the fact that this demand is only on Fire Protection and Control.
Mr. Speaker : It is not on Fire Protection alone. It is also for the Police as the amount is for Rs. 2,12,47,800 .
Prof. M. N. Majaw :Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs. 2,12,47,800 , under Grant No. 17. Major head "255-Police and 260-Fire Protection and Control" at page 87 of the budget be reduced by Rs. 100, i.e., the amount of the whole grant of Rs. 2,12,47,800. do stand reduced by Rs. 100.
Mr. Speaker :Motion moved, you should try to focus your discussion only on one particular point- to disapprove of the explanation given by the State Government for the opening of a police outpost at Kyrdem-kulai. That is the only point.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the occasion for this cut motion arose because of a little amount of labour indulged in by myself of painstakingly going through the pages of the budget, one after the other and in my meandering through the voluminous volumes I suddenly came across an explanation in after the little corner at page 57 of the Memorandum on the Budget Estimates by the Government of Meghalaya for the year 1974-75, the Demands for Grants and the Financial Statement. At page 57, I was intrigued why such a long explanation should come for the mere opening of an outpost. Normally, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we would not have opposed the opening of an outpost, as an outpost is necessary in many places. But on looking through it, I was flabbergasted, I was aghast that this Government should have dared to bring out such an explanation for the opening of an outpost. I submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, with all humility, that this is an insult to our tribal people. Let me refresh this august House by reading through this explanation - the explanation is for the opening of a Police outpost at Kyrdem Kulai, the explanation - says Kyrdem Kulai is situated at a distance of 15 kilometres west of Unsining (Nayabunglow) O. P. The ASEB. has started construction of a Hydel Project on the Umtru River covering as areas of miles upto the Noopani Dyke. With the construction of the Hydel Project, the population in the area for increasing and the local people also are concentrating in the area is inhabited by livelihood by mostly non-tribals (i.e., employees of the A. S. E. B. ) during local enquiry on the spot in connection with the opening of an O. P. it has been ascertained that, there have been several instances of unreported cases of lawlesness. The Secretary , A. S. E. B. has reported that some employees posted at Kyrdem Kulai have been manhandled and gheraoed by local people. Hence in order to avoid further deterioration of law and order, opening of an O. P. at Kyrdem Kulai is felt essential". This is the most amazing piece of literature I have come across in this Budget , Mr. Speaker, Sir, and there are so many things, so many ramifications that have come out of this. In the first place, we the local people of this area, we are known for generations to be peace loving people. This area is known as Ri-Bhoi area, they are the people of the Bhoi area. Does not this Government remember how and when we fought to achieve this separate State, there was no bloodshed, while on other places, like Gujarat and and Andra Pradesh, they had to pass through sea of blood........
Mr. Speaker : Prof. Majaw, I want also to interrupt. Here I do not understand whether the Government has really instituted an enquiry into the matter, and if so, whether they have accepted the view of the enquiring body or not, otherwise explanation really seems to be uncalled for.
Prof. M. N. Majaw :I congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for your very wise observation. But I humbly propose Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Chief Minister's explanation may be given at the end of this explanation or may be given after we have spoken a little further.
It seems that some Members of Cabinet are surprised to find that this explanation, some how or other, has surreptitiously crept into this page. (Loud Laughter). It shows how well prepared they were with the budget. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must submit that our local people are all peace loving people particularly in this District and even in other districts of the State. We are known for our adaptability, for our power absorption. How many come from other States and have lived here and have become part and parcel of this State. There have been no fight, no rows as such, and if any trouble or other has arisen on any occasion it has arisen because of others from outside.
Mr. Speaker : I think your contention has been understood fully by the House. Here I would remind the Government that if there were some troubles or some quarrels between one section of the people and another, it is understood. But here, it appears that one section of the people of the State have been praised by the Government and another had already been blamed (Prof. M. N. Majaw accused). Hence the Government can come forward with a better explanation or rather a corrigendum.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I demand the withdrawal of this explanation.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I will take the floor and give a correct picture , Mr. Speaker, Sir, It is not the intention of the Government to praise a particular section of the people and blame another section, but when some incidents occurred, Government cannot shut their eyes, whether the incidents have been initiated by one section of the people or by the other section. But I must discuss it in short, so as to make it very clear that/when a provision has been made in this budget, whether we are going to open the outpost or not that is yet to be decided by the Government (interruption).
Prof. M. N. Majaw : But the money has been voted by the House.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : It does not matter. The Budget is there. It must have been passed. If the Government is convinced that there is no need for having regular police outpost, we will not have it, if fact, when this particular matter was discussed. I am not disclosing the secret the Cabinet as a whole felt the need to revive the traditional and customary system of maintaining law and order in the rural areas instead of going in for regular police outpost I think, Mr. Speaker, Sir, you are aware of the existing provision under the administration of justice that regular police force in Khasi and Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills cannot go in certain areas to discharge their duties except with the permission of the Deputy Commissioner. In Garo Hills, in the laskar areas.
Shri S. D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. You have only invited the Chief Minister to give an explanation to this explanatory note. He has to come forward with a corrigendum.
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Khongwir, let me try to point out. The mover of the cut motion is not against the opening of the outpost because the police outpost is always necessary anywhere. But he only demands that this explanatory note be withdrawn so that the police outpost may be there. That is a different question.
Shri S. D. Khongwir : That is the only point, Mr. Speaker Sir.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have made it very clear that it is not the case as contended by some hon. members may be they have misunderstood - that the police outpost is necessary to protect a particular section of people. There may be something wrong in the wording of explanatory note and I express regret for it. But the intention of the Government is not to praise a particular section of people and to blame another section but to go in for the outpost.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Not only blame.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Infact, the report has got to be examined and I have not had the occasion to go into the report.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : So without your knowledge the explanation has come in.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : It came as a budget schedule and the matter came up for discussion in the Cabinet and the Cabinet was not at all convinced finally of the need for having a police outpost. But we have got a to watch the situation. Depending the situation in future the need may arise for having police outpost . But it is not on the basis of the report that we have received that the outpost is necessary. Naturally a particular area has to be developed first and in future there is likelihood that people from different parts of the State, even outsiders, coming in. It may be for valid or invalid reasons to have some police outpost. It is because of that we allow that, this programme to find a place in the budget. But I must make it very clear that the actual opening of the outpost will depend upon the situation prevailing there.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have not finished, that is No. 1, and secondly may I point out that the Chief Minister has somewhat evaded the question that you have put to him. Whether Government will institute an enquiry into the matter and you did pass a remark that this explanation is uncalled for. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I admit that I have some knowledge of the English language. In the last sentence it was clearly written 'hence' meaning as a result of the A.S.E.B.'s report that one local people are violating the law and order. Hence in order to avoid further deterioration of law and order, opening of an outpost at Kyrdem Kulai is felt essential. Now the Chief Minister cannot come and say that we have considered the matter. I totally repudiate this and I demand withdrawal of this explanatory note. We have not set up a State only to allow the neighbouring State, the Assam State Electricity Board to dictate to this august House that an outpost may be opened. Are we going to yield to the report of one State, from the Secretary of the autonomous Board so that this Government at the behest of another Board will set up an outpost. You, yourself Mr. Speaker, Sir, in your wisdom, had passed a remark that the explanation has been uncalled for. So the Chief Minister should give an explanation to this and not to lecture on other matters.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I am prepared to reply to that. I must make it clear that in order to protect somebody else, there may be need for having a police outpost. The police outpost is not intended to protect only one section of the people. It must be admitted that somebody times a situation may have arise at the instance of an outsider or our own local people. Of course, I am not professor of English and I am not going to interpret. But let us admit that there has been some sort of situation but I regret for the wrong wording or composition of English. The word 'hence' which is consequential has been used I regret for that. But I think the honourable members and the House as a whole will agree with me, when in a particular place a situation has arisen because of the initiation taken by outsiders and when there has been some clashed with the local people, Government thought it necessary to have a police outpost to maintain the law and order situation. Can we come to a conclusion that the outsiders have been blamed and the local people have been praised. I think that is not correct. The police personnel cannot be partial. They are the protectors of law and order irrespective of caste, creed or religion. I have been trying to inform the House that there is a demand for having police outposts all over the State. We are compelled in certain cases because of the incident of crime or because of the law and order situation, to go in for the regular police outpost. Government thought that we should not go in for regular police outpost but should instead go in for traditional and customary institution that were the guardians of law and order in the rural areas. Therefore, though we agree with this proposal for having a police outpost, The ultimate decision will depend on further development of law and order situation there without blaming this section or that section of the people.
Shri S.D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, this matter can be settled and we can come to a reconciliation from our side and the side of the Government. This matter is very simple. From our side, we have not spoken anything about the need of a police outpost in this particular area. Our contention, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is on one point. That is regarding the explanation given on the need of this police outpost, I would support the contention of the Hon'ble Chief Minister about the need of a police outpost. Also, I know that area, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because I have visited that area several times and I have seen the situation, and I know the people who stay there. As the Hon'ble Chief Minister has already pointed out there has been several demands even from the other areas in the State for the establishment of police outposts and in so far as that very place is concerned, we also from this side agreed with the Government about the need to open a police outpost there. Mr. Speaker, Sir, from our side also we want to assist the Government in this regard but we want that the explanation should be that in view of these situations, there is need for a police outpost on this very place and we will support the Government for the establishment of a police outpost there.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, just one point would like to make. This Government enjoys an overwhelming majority in his House and on a number of occasions, when we move the Cut Motion they always manage to side-track issues. Now, there is no reason for the Government to come forward with this sort of insulting information.
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Majaw, you have said enough and I think there should be no more discussion on this issue because the Chief Minister has already explained.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : The Chief Minister has not yet replied, Sir.
Mr. Speaker : The Chief Minister has explained. It may be that the information has been misdrafted and I think the Government will come forward with a more explanation, or even without any explanation.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Yes, Sir, any of these two alternatives.
Mr. Speaker : I request the Chief Minister to please continue.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :It is unfortunate that though our official language is English for the purpose of conducting the business of the House and also for running the administration yet if we find it more convenient to fight with the use of words, I would request hon. Members to point out where we have able to use correct language or correct English.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : That is side-tracking the issue, Sir.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Not to play about the use of words but the important thing is the purpose of the words.
Shri S. D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not professor of English but the moment I read this, I became furious.
Mr. Speaker : I think I will close this discussion. It is not a battle of English but is battle of the real situation inside this House. This House cannot accept the view of this officer or that officer but the House must accept or reject the view of the Government . That is the suggestion which already agreed that this may be modified so that there will be no confidence in the language. So I think Professor Majaw is willing to withdraw the Cut Motion in the light of what the Chief Minister has said.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I humbly demand a categorical statement from the Chief Minister to the effect.
Mr. Speaker : I have already ruled that the Government may take resort to any of the above two alternatives.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : Matter of language !
Mr. Speaker : The Chief Minister has already bowed down to the ruling that the Government will come forward with either of these two alternatives.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : I understand that this is not a question of language but a question of explanation.
Mr. Speaker : I said this House will listen only to the views of the Government and not to this officer or that officer.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I will still say that if there is some difficulty in the wording of the language, it may give an entirely different picture. So in that context, I have said that.
Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we are not concerned with the language but we are concerned with the meaning of the language. The opening of the police outpost at Kyrdem Kulai had been stated that it due to the heavy influx of the population in that areas that the Out-post is necessary. We quite agree that there are bad people bad local people and also bad people from outside. But then to pass a remark that the local people are the people who are creating all the troubles in that areas is uncalled for. So it is the meaning of the language that we are concerned, which had the affect of explaining that the whole tribe of that area is bad. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, we all demand that the explanation conveying the meaning and casting a reflection on the tribal population should be withdrawn.
Shri P. R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the language is important as the meaning behind the language, I think, would cause concern to the Members here. It is the meaning behind the language, and to that effect, I think the Chief Minister has categorically made a very clear statement from his side - that the words might have been misunderstood and he has bowed down to the ruling from the Chair. After saying that much the friends in the opposition benches would still like to be the "Shyllocks" asking for more flesh. The Chief Minister has really bowed down to the ruling the Speaker.
Mr. Speaker : I think, Mr. Kyndiah, I am not sitting here at my own wish. What I express here is the will of the House and I am to be guided by the rules of procedure and by the law of the land. I know very well that this House cannot allow any slightest aspersion on other Members. As I said here, it appears that the people who drafted the Memorandum have not studied thoroughly the implication of the law and that is the reason why I have told the Government to delete the whole explanation or to improve the language because this House cannot act on the report of any officer whether he is an officer of the A. S. E. B. or of any other autonomous body. This House will consider only the explanation of the Government . It is the explanation of the Government which the House is concerned, not the explanation of any particular officer as it is mentioned here.
Shri F. K. Mawlot : If my ears serve me right I have not heard a word of assurance from the Chief Minister that the Government will delete that part of the explanation or improve the wording of the explanation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we fail to understand how such an explanation has come out from the Chief Minister. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, my expression to the House is to convey my congratulation to the Government for its ignorance of this kind of explanation.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, I am not yet fully aware of the need of certain outposts.
Shri F. K. Mawlot : The need is not the point at issue.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have made it clear, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that it is not only because a situation is created by one section of the people of Meghalaya that there is need for opening of Police out-posts but Government will be guided by the overall need for certain out-posts.
Prof. M . N. Majaw : Why then that explanation ?
Shri Maham Singh : That explanation is wrong.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : That has been regretted before the House.
Mr. Speaker : When the Chief Minister has regretted the mistake from the very beginning I do not know why do you insist.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : If he has regretted, then it is well and good.
Shri Maham Singh : We are to understand that the explanation will be corrected in such a way that it does not convey the same meaning. That is the only thing.
Mr. Speaker : The word 'regretted' inside the House means that action will be followed up to improve the explanation.
Prof. M. N. Majaw :Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to leave of the House to withdraw my Cut Motion on the explanation given by the Government through your wise and kind advice.
Mr. Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House withdrawn his Cut Motion ?
(Voices-Yes.) Yes. The Cut Motion is with leave of the House withdrawn. I call upon Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh to move his Cut Motion. )
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs. 2,12,47,800 under Grant No. 17 Major head "255-Police and 260, - Fire Protection and Control" at page 87 of the budget be reduced to Re. 1. i.e., the amount of the whole budget of Rs. 2,12,47,800 do stand reduced to Re. 1.
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Mr . Lyngdoh may now initiate the discussion.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in moving this Cut Motion. I want to raise a discussion the policy of the Government. In the last two or three budgets that have been brought before the House, Government have declared certain policy statements as to how and what will be the police administration in the State. But Sir, in the Budget speech of this year, there is not a single work said about this very important subject. It is a matter of life and death of the State. Government means also force and the police means the Government-thus it means that the police are to serve the people and the State.
Mr. Speaker : Will and not force is the basis of the State.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Anyway, it seems that State means force. Sir, during the British days they have establishment the Police force which means Government Force. If I am not mistaken, Sir, once I have referred in this House that the Police Force in India was established by Lord Clive and he recruited and selected persons for police force only those who have got a dangerous face and also brute mentality and so on. These type of police personnel during that time were for frightening up people, they were to beat the people and lawbreakers and bring them to custody. But now-a-days, the police services is meant for peace and order. Police are the guardians and custodians of law. But police service in the State today is a failure. They have failed in the investigation of crimes.
(At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair).
They have failed in many cases and many innocent people have suffered because of the attitude of the police. They have beaten innocent people without properly investigating the cases and also people have been looted by the police while they are investigating the crimes. So, Sir, there is a failure of investigation of crimes by the police in our approach. Also, Sir, I find that the police never care to seek the co-operation of the people in their work of investigation. The public are always afraid of the police personnel. When the police personnel enter a village all the people are afraid. Even when the people know something about any incident, or when they know very well about the crimes committed, nobody will come forward to give the information will be taken to task especially in the rural areas always no protection of the witness Sir, because of the attitude and misbehavior on the part of the police the people are afraid of them. We had a number of times discussed this matter in this House, and we had been given assurances during the last two or three budget discussions that Government will look into this matter. But Government has completely failed to implement those assurances. In the matter of recruitment, Government have failed to recruit the right men for the right job. Those who have been recruited to the police services, they are people, I am sorry to pass this remark on our own community and citizens of third class character. Sir, I wonder why good people never come forward to join this service. Good people don't come forward to serve in the police, force maybe because of the wrong impression created by the police behavior on the people to the extent of calling the police "Pulit dap ram". The story behind this saying is a long one and I do not like to go over it here. So in the policy of recruitment, the Government has failed and promises made by the Government in the two or three budget sessions on the improvement of recruitment have not produced any effect. Moreover, the Government have failed even to give instruction to the police force who are in service. At the same time, they have also failed to give proper training to the people who have been recruited in the Police Department. It is seen that the police personnel both in the traffic department and in the enforcement department are the same type of the people as in the British days or for that matter they may be worse with regard to corruption. What we need. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is to give them adequate and proper training, and the whole state police force and administration should be modernised as it ought to be. In this way, the Government could fulfill the aspirations and promises to the people, that as we got our own State, we will rule it ourselves. Sir, Government has given the assurance that as far as practicable, the new Police Battalion will be organised for the benefit of the citizens of the State. Now the people from our State either the Khasis, or the Garo or the Pnars should be recruited the Police force so that they will look after the law and order of the State by themselves. As it is now, Sir, only few of them have joined, no doubt.
We have seen from one report that Government have opened one outpost at Kyrdem Kulai . But why could not Government open police outposts in other places where for many years the people have demanded ? There are may reports of crimes in many places and people have a sense of insecurity. So, there is need to open more police outposts but Government has failed to open these outposts although the demand is for a long time. We need an outpost in Markasa which is the most important centre in Nongstoin Sub-division. This was discussed time and again and people have even come forward with the offer of a plot of land and buildings to house the Police force for the security of the area. But nothing comes out because the Government pleaded that they are short of officer, or short of police personnel. We have also demanded that there must be a point out post at Nongpoh , Athiabari and Mallang and there must be a police outpost at Langpih and so on. We also demanded that there should be police outposts all along the order with Bangladesh where there are lots of crimes in order give security to our people. But Government stated that they are short of police personnel and those who are posted in the interior could not understand the language of the people. So I feel that Government has failed to fulfill its promises especially with regard to the police department and its improvement. With these words ; Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri W. S. Syiemiong : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wholeheartedly, support the cut motion moved by my friend from Parrong and I can hardly speak further on what he has said that the importance if the back-ground and personal character in appointment police personnel is so much that unless we know that importance, Sir, I am afraid, the policemen that we may employ in our State will not have a different picture from what we had of the police during the composite State of Assam. Proper investigation of personal back-ground and character if a person should go a long way upto 5-6 years, before he joins the force and all those must be taken into considerations along with his schooling, and its family life and other allied matters because there are very important, if especially in the Civil Department of Police- since I understand that there are two departments, the Armed Police Department and the Civil Department. The personal who will be employed in the Civil Department should have their character and antecedents thoroughly investigated into before giving them appointments as they are the people who will undertake important works of the police. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what we have seen, however, is very sad picture : Wherever our police go- they are supposed to be the guardians of law and order- what we find is that in many cases, especially in the rural areas, many people are afraid of them because of their overbearing manner and commanding behavior. Naturally, I do not wonder why many investigations that they have undertaken could not be completed or that they could not bring the culprits to book because they could not make themselves acceptable to the people. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel that the Government must seriously consider that our police officers must have that amount of etiquette to deal with the people so that the destitute, the orphans and others should feel safe and secured in their place presence but, I would say something about the other aspects. I understand, Sir, what our Police Force has not even a separate parade ground of its own apart from the one at the Reserve Police Line. The other police Battalion have not been provided with a parade ground ; the one they are using at present belongs to the military, if I am not mistaken. They do not have any forensic laboratory, training school and many other facilities. With all these defects and even after 4 years I feel that the Governments should give serious consideration and try not to delay the matter but take immediate steps to improve our Police Force. We can well imagine that even the I. G. P. himself has got no official quarters in this State and even the explosives of this very Department are being housed in a rented house somewhere. Sir, to improve our Police Force the policy must be changed altogether. First of all, we must see to their condition and only after that I think we can make them perform their work satisfactory manner. Otherwise Sir, our Police Force, as I said earlier, will not be better than the Police Forces of other States to India who, to my regret, are earning to a very bad name. But I think that our State, which is small and compact, will be able to recruit mostly the local people who are simple and unsophisticated and I do wish, Sir, that the Government can do something and make this Department really effective and does not move in a very 'lahe' 'lahe' manner.
Shri F. K. Mawlot : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion moved by the hon. Member from Pariong only a few minutes ago we have had a very heated discussion and now again we have this opportunity to discuss the Police administration in the House. First of all, if the system of administration of our Police as at present, is continued I am afraid, we will not be able to move ahead but rather we may follow the 'piche' 'piche' policy. Right from the time of our struggle for a separate Hill State, we have been trying to give assurance to the people that when we have our own full-fledged State, we would be employing our own people more and more in every Department and, if I am not mistaken during the provisional Assembly of the autonomous State, the Government had proposed to have it own Auxiliary Police Force but, till today- after about 5 years or so- neither the nose and the face nor even the shadow of that Auxiliary Force can be seen. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I mean is that if we have more of our people in the Police Department of course, I do not say about the higher officials whom we can afford at present but what I am talking about is the lower-grade of the constabulary then the Police administration would have been much better. As my hon. friend from Nongspung has said just now, when the Police personnel go to the interior villages to investigates cases it is a dread to the people and none of the local people is willing to come forward to state the facts or co-operate with the Police because he is afraid that later on he will be the person who will be hand-cuffed and taken to jail. There is no security; he does not feel secured with policeman. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the mover of the cut motion has said that our Police have failed to bring about satisfactory investigation reports. He has also alleged that the Police rather loot the people while conducting investigations. I fall in line with him. I remember last time when there was a clash between Nepalese and Khasis at Tynhiang village, the officer who was deputed in the investigation started drinking right from Nongstoin till he reached that place and then he was no more a man. You can well imagine how a man will do justice when his legs do not serve him any more ? Will a man be able to carry out the investigation ?
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know whether the hon. Member has witnessed this thing himself and whether he has brought this to the notice of the Government ?
Shri Francis K. Mawlot : I am coming to that. We have got the first-hand report of that incident. Instead of finding out the real culprit, the police personnel arrested the village headman who was all along trying to assist the police personnel in detecting the culprits. But they hand-cuffed the headman- and not only that they handed him over to the Nepalese and directed them to beat him and burn the eye-lashes. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is the picture of our police administration we have today. Now it appears that there is a proposal for setting up of a Police Outpost at Kyrdem Kulai. But if the intention of the Government is to suppress the local tribal people by accepting the reports submitted by some one who is anti Tribal I wonder whether the Government will succeed in bringing the real culprit to book Police personnels with bad motives will mislead the Government and the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we are to have more police personnel of our own I think this will be a good proposal for the Government to set up different centres in the interior for the recruitment of police personnel, say one at Nongpoh, one at Dawki, one at Nongstoin and so on. As you know, people from the interior are very sincere, very healthy and if you teach them and educate them the Government will get personnel of our own. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, drinking of liquor by the Police personnel has gone to such an extent that we cannot tolerate it any more. I do not say that the Police personnel should not drink nor do I say it is very easy for anybody to give up drinks once he is accustomed to it. I am accustomed to smoking and I personally feel it is very difficult to give it up. But when I am here on the floor of the House I cannot smoke.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : You may go out to smoke !
Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Leader of the House has rightly pointed out if I want to smoke I may go out. Sir, when a personnel in his uniform gets drunk. What will be the impression of the people about that man. Although he may not disturb any body but what the people will think of him. Of course I do not want to blame the Government but I would request Government to be sincere in the taste of recruiting the police personnel and to areas to how best to attain a smooth Police administration.
Shri P. G. Marbaniang : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while opposing this cut Motion I would like to remind the mover of the cut motion that we are here now in a welfare State- no longer were the forces of imperial dynasty exist. Therefore, I will not agree with him to compare the police force of the present day with those of Lord Clive of the seventeenth century. We, as I said, are in the Welfare State and I am sure even when our police personnel are recruited and sent to different training centres they must have been taught all the norms of the people of the present days. I would like first of all to remind him , I oppose this cut motion, that if we cannot defray the charges I think there will be no police force and I do not know what will happen to us. Tomorrow we may not be able to come to this Assembly ; we shall have to watch our houses.
What we find is that now-a-days, the present force i.e., the Police Department have really lived up to the motto of being the guardian of the law. Otherwise, we would have heard crimes prevailing everywhere. If they have not fought against crimes, crimes would have submerged all of us. I am afraid they will have to agree with me because the Force had been sent to meet the elaborate trainings, had been sent and taught the new techniques of how to control crimes and that is the reason why we have been able to check the increase of crimes in our State. Of course, many sophisticated methods are invented, so also more sophisticated ways and means of conducting crimes are invented. In western countries they have all types of laboratories but still crimes, are ruling upon them. In our State because the tribal way of life, we as tribals, actually feel that when a police man comes to our house, it is some sort of a sacrilege, and that is why, we do not allow our children to join the police force. But it is not because of the dread as stated by the hon. Members from the Nongspung that our tribals have not joined the police force. It is also not that people are dreadful of the policeman. Therefore, we should not blame the policeman in all respects. In fact, we should try to be friendly and helpful to them. I have seen that now-a-days the police consult local Communities and local headman and take them into confidence which shows that it is only that police force that can prevent but if the people co-operate with the police, they can go a long way to detect crimes and so crimes can be checked and prevented. Of course, rooms, are there for improvements. I have seen that there are certain police Thanas, take for instance, the Nongpoh police Thana, it extends from one end to another end of Khasi Hills, and we find that the poor Officer-in-charge there has no vehicle to conduct investigation. As such, when crime is committed on the other end which is about 100 miles away, it will take him 3 to 4 days to reach the scene of incidents after collecting information from the local headman and after going into other formalities. Therefore, Sir, the Government should extend these facilities to make the Force more effective in preventing crimes. I would like also to say that out of one particular incidents the whole department should not be blamed. If there are cases where police officers were found drunk on duty, we, as responsible Members, should bring that information to the notice of higher authorities. And it is not only in this way that we can check, it is not that we laugh at him and then keep it in our minds that when we meet more next time in this House we should cite an example and press that the whole Demand under Police should not be granted for some small incident. But we are here to suggest ways and means for improvement, how to live in peace and tranquility and not to encourage crimes. With these words, I oppose the Cut Motion. Thank you.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in this discussion, I find that in order to be efficient. One is to have determination, courage and has to be posses some knowledge about the performances of one's duty. The Police, as we have seen now, it seems are lagging behind in these respects. They do not have skill, courage and self-determination and they might simply have joined the Force just to get their pay. As we have seen, Sir, Police administration in our State, since the Governments of Assam left this State, do not have even their own plot of land to build their houses, to build their forensic laboratory, their training centres, their other laboratories and also their parade ground. This is the reason why they do not have knowledge to handle the cases properly. Besides, that it seems because of this main factor that they do not have land at all to build their office- that they have spend a lot of money every year in paying rent to the private land and house owners and to somebody for the buildings. Their work has been greatly handicapped Sir, in this respects, I would request the Government that instead of spending a huge amount every year, they spend only once by acquiring land for the Police so that buildings and other branches of the Police administration can be established like schools laboratory and other requirement which will be utilised by the Police themselves. Moreover, Sir, those Training Centres are now in the State of Assam where our recruits are being trained. Most of our villages do not like to join because first of all, there is difficulty in knowing the language. There is no denying the fact that only educated people join the force because they are seeking for a job but all those semi-educated people who are stronger and stout and physically fit and good in character do not join because of certain difficulties. Sir, if we can establish such training centres in our State, I think we will have a large number of good quality personnel to man the Police Force in our State and investigations and other manifolds duties would be better performed than it is now. Sir, this may be due to lack of those facilities, that the Police performances are not up to the mark. Besides, that Sir, I know that the pay of Police Constables is also very meagre. Considering their job, I think they require due consideration from the Government for increasing their pay or in whatever manner as they think fir to raise their condition. The State Government should give them more facilities so that they can perform their duties properly. They should also be given certain amount of security especially their families who are staying in the interior or who are staying away from each other in different parts of the State. Sir, as it is now, I have seen that investigation of cases by the police personnel is very very poor. Their performance is very poor in this respect and so far we have not heard that investigations were satisfactory. Sir, the C. I. D. personnel particularly seem to have got no proper training at all before they join their duties. I have seen many of the C. I. D. personnel going here and there, it seems that they feel themselves a guilty men because of lack of proper training or because the senior officers do not guide them properly. I do not know whether Government can get anything beneficial out of them. It seems the Government did never encourage to instruct the police officers or C. I. D. personnel how to conduct investigation of cases in a rightful and effective way. And they do not get proper co-operation from the Government Department . Whenever they have to investigate or to make an on the spot enquiry for any thing that is going wrong in the Government Department, it always appears that they are not receiving proper information from the offices. The C. I. D. personnel or Police personnel are being denied of facts in the investigation of official corruption. This casts reflection on the Government itself and it seems Government does not like to give any information to the police because it may expose all the misdeeds and corruptions that these Government servants are indulging. Sir, when the Government has given us assurance to do something in this regard to improve the performance of the police force, we also strongly suggest that better guidance and training should be given to them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with these few words I stand to support this Cut Motion, thank you.
Shri S. D. Khongwir : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Cut Motion and in my humble opinion Mr, Deputy Speaker, Sir, as already expressed by the hon. Member from Laitumkhrah that there is much room for improvement in our police force, I also feel that much improvement should be made on the police force. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would only like to say a few words in so far as this particular grant is concerned and I would like to confine myself only to the lower category of police personnel. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the life of all the citizens and of the community, I find that these poor constables are the most important persons to perform their day to day duties. It is they who use to meet and come into close contact with the people in the streets, in the bazaar and other places. It is the poor constables who always use to confront the said citizens and the community of the State. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whatever, improvement is to be made, I feel it is to be made to these constables. As we have already had occasions to discuss about the effectiveness of the district administration as attempted by the Hon'ble Chief Minister, the police administration is the base of the entire administration of the State. So also Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in so far as the police works is concerned, it is the police constables who are the most important personnel to perform their duties. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in speaking about the policy of the Government, I would like to impress upon the Government on the recruitment policy in so far as these police constables are concerned. We have always been trying to lay emphasis on the physical measurements, that is on the height and chest measurements. But we tend to forget the aptitude of the persons in this particular service. As already expressed by the hon. Member from Nongspung, it may be possible that because of these hard days, it is very difficult for us or for the people of our State to get employment anywhere in the departments of the Government. So the last resort of these people is only to join the police force. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would only like to impress here that apart from the physical measurements of our candidates for the post of police force, I would suggest that at least let us try to get the real persons who actually have the aptitude and capacity to join the police force. Those who really like and love to join it will be eligible for the post. Otherwise I feel in the long run it will be only a dead weight on the part of the Government if persons having no real aptitude are employed only to get their emoluments and pay. In so far as measurement is concerned, I understand our Government have relaxed by certain inches,. that is from 5' 3" to 5' 2" . But in this aspect of the matter, I would like also to suggest that even if we cannot get persons whose measurement is 5' 2" inches we may allow them to join if they have got the aptitude and love for the post.
Another thing Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say is on the investigation of criminal cases by the police force. According to the present set up, if I am mistaken, this part of the investigation is being entrusted to the Sub-Inspectors of Police. But from my experience Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, and from the discussion that I have had with the Police Officers. I find that the investigation are always very tardy and dilatory and moreover very inefficient. The investigating officers always are not really very honest with their work. Their only intention is how to get a conviction of the offenders; but looking on the investigation, on the prospective of it they just try to get the report or the investigation so hurriedly done just to get a conviction of the offenders. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to place before the Government my experience with regard to investigation, because as I have said earlier, they tend to be dilatory. In the last session also, the Hon'ble Chief Minister has replied that there are 378 cases pending for investigation. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I like to suggest to the Government to give more emphasis on the Investigation Department for a quicker and more effective investigation. I would also like to suggest that while entrusting the officers to conduct the investigation, the Government should select some persons, eligible officers to specialise on this particular branch of investigation and not only a Sub-Inspector of Police who will deal with the investigation. There must be a certain set of Sub-Inspectors or Inspectors or any persons eligible to investigate. Let us have a certain set of police personnel to undertake investigation. At the same time, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from our experience and I have more than once, spoken about the necessity of providing the Beat Houses or investigation officers with vehicles, we find that when a crime has been committed in any particular area or an incident has occurred, when we informed the Beat House, they will take 2 to 3 miles away when we asked the officers the reason for the delay , always they will say that they were waiting for a vehicle. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have already pressed the Government on this account for the effective functioning of the police department, at least to give them sufficient and adequate number of vehicles to man the Beat Houses here in Shillong and in other places also. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to say something on what other hon. Members before me have spoken i.e., on the etiquette of the police officers. Now on the matter, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to speak from my own experience and my personal opinion, that in so far as I am concerned, I have never found any police officer who misbehaved himself or that he has not shown a correct etiquette to me or somebody else, but there have been occasions, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that some police personnel in uniforms, they are drinking, but still then even when they were in a tipsy mood. they are in a better position to show more etiquette to us
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would only like to tell the Hon'ble Chief Minister about this of course to experience it by himself, when any police officer, comes to meet me in so far as the affairs of my constituency are concerned, sometimes I used to get a bad smell, a smell of liquor coming out from him while in uniform but I cannot say that he was drunk. But I know for a fact that they have been drinking. So I leave it to the Hon'ble Chief Minister whether it is an offence or not to drink on duty. With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support, the cut motion and with these few suggestions for the Government to consider so that we can have a really effective police administration.
Shri Jormanik Syiem : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion not to praise the performance of the police department as such, but to justify the demand for this grant. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are in the 20th century, so we cannot live without police force. Gone are the days when these hills did not need any uniformed police, when every goanburra, every village elder discharged the functions and duties of the policemen. That is no longer possible. So we need to have a police force. From the speeches made by some of the Members, it is quite clear that training has to be imparted, more accommodation has to be provided for our police personnel. If that be the case, no training would be possible unless sufficient grants are made available to the Government. As regards the behavior or the etiquette of the police personnel, we are all human beings, every one has got good and bad quality ; so there are bad people, good people, some constable, some policeman, some officers are good some are not good, but it is the duty of everyone of us to see that every one does his duty . We cannot just blame the police for misbehaving or accepting this and that. Sometimes, we are also responsible, sometimes parties also tempted the police, even both the parties (Laughter). So it is the duty of the public leaders to see and educate the people so that these things should not be encouraged. Even then, if we have specific instances, whether a particular police officer or a constable, if we found that he has misbehaved or has done anything, which is he is not legitimately entitled to do, we can bring such specific incident to the notice of the Government, and Government will take appropriate action against such officer . So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the cut motion is meaningless when we all agree that we need a police force, we need better training , better accommodation and also to improve the emoluments of the poor constables, and therefore, I would say that the cut motion is not to be accepted. Therefore, I oppose the cut motion in this respect. Thank you.
Shri D. N. Joshi : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while opposing the cut motion, I have certain observations to make . Consequent upon the shifting of the capital of Assam, many buildings, bunglows and office buildings have fallen vacant here in Shillong. But I do not know why up till now the Inspector General of Police for quite a long time is residing in a portion of the Circuit House. This has come to my knowledge. Government ought to have offered him a decent bunglow befitting his office and his dignity. Once I had the occasion to go the Police Reserve here in Shillong and in course of my visit, I found that the barracks and the quarters given to the Police personnel and their families are in such a bad state that they are not fit for the animals to live in. It can best be described as pigs rather than human dwelling . So, much has to be done to improve the lot of these Police personnel so that they may also live a decent life befitting to free citizens of a free country. Moreover, they are supposed to act as the guardians of law and order and if their living condition is not improved, we cannot expect that amount of service and that amount of dedication that is expected of them to serve the State. I had the occasion to go to my constituency through Bishnupur side and I found that the Police Battalion is residing there. The way they are living, the way they are made to live, the way they are getting their training, the ground where they have to do physical training and parades is not up to the mark. Government should see that decent barracks are constructed and that good facilities for parades, physical training and also good water supply should be given. I am told and it came to light that the Police personnel are taking water from some other people's sources and pipes. It has not been independently supplied to them.
Here in our State, I do not find any forensic laboratory established. There is no finger print bureau here in our State and for all these things, we have to depend either on Assam or Calcutta. We have to send to our things for investigation there and the time that is consumed on account of the absence of these requirements causes undue delay in the disposal of cases. So the Government should do well to establish a forensic laboratory here in our State and have a finger print bureau. I feel that this is an assault on our Government to be such dependent on other States in these party matters.
Coming to Police Administration, Sir, the way our Police handle the cases, to cite an example, I have to tell the House that only last month in Cantonment constituency near the M. E. S. quarter at midnight some people came out of the locality shouting 'thief', 'thief'..............
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : That we have discussed.
Shri D. N. Joshi :So I fail to understand how the Police S. I. , and the Police personnel were there in that particular spot at dead of night when they were not called for. So with this observation, Sir, I support the cut Motion.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while taking part in the discussion, I would only raise two important points. One is the way of allotment of jeeps and vehicles to the police as has been mentioned by some members, particularly to the non-supply of vehicle to the Police Station at Dawki which is very very important Police Station. Whenever there is any investigation or anything required for the Police Officer, the poor Officer-in-charge of that Police Station and the Police personnel have to violate the traffic laws as they have to travel in over-loading jeeps and mini buses . You will always find that the Police, the O. C. his junior officers and the Police constables have to travel on these buses. On the other hand, there are many many jeeps and vehicles for the Police officers in the town. Why in the interior place like Dawki no jeeps were supplied. Further, at Umkiang areas on way to Cachar District, there is a very important police outpost. It is very very sad to find that A. S. I. and the Officer-in-charge have to travel by the TRL trucks and other private vehicles. Therefore, I would also request the Chief Minister to see that something is done in this respect.
Another point is about the Police Station in Jowai. There has been a suggestion and recommendation that the Police Station at Jowai should be shifted to another convenient place. But up till now, we do not know what is the decision of the Government rather it is surprising to find that more buildings have been constructed in this present site. Therefore, while taking part in the discussion of this cut motion, I would like to get a clarification from the Chief Minister on these two points.
Shri M. N. Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also raise to support the cut motion. In the first place, to restore a sense of balance, we must give a credit where credit is due. There are quite a number of senior Police officers in our State who are capable of manning the Police administration- even in the best State of India- fine, excellent and upright men. But the point I going to belabour in this cut motion refers particularly to the lower staff from the O. C. 's down. Now the post of an O. C. is a very enviable pot and doubt if some of the O. C. s in the interior would even agree to accept the posts of I. G. P. by being transferred from the Police Station in the interior to Headquarters. I have even made an examination of the remuneration of left handed business that the O. C. and his colleagues receive. To take the case of 3 important Oc's posts near about Shillong - one is at Laitumkhrah, the other is Garikhana and the next is at Nongpoh. And then there are OC's posts Dawki, Cherrapunjee, etc, far from the Headquarters ; of them the less said the better. But in the town, the two most covered posts are -Laitumkhrah Police Station and Garikhana Police Station. In these Police Stations are of the best sources of income is from the "Bookies" of "TEER" (Archery) that is still going on in Shillong. The Police Officer at Laitumkhrah P. S. gets from the local bookies about 50 rupees per week per bookie, and there are about 200 bookies. But the Police Officer at Garikhana gets a rather small amount of money from the bookies compared to Laitumkhrah P.S. In the Polo grounds where the "TEER" game is held, the police, we will find, instead of controlling or suppressing gambling , go there ostensibly to collect thousand of rupees per week from those bookies. This is better seen than described. In Nongpoh, I have come to know that the Police used to take Rs. 25. per truck per trip per day., which is fixed rate from the owners of trucks plying legally. The Minister Transport , had the courage to admit on one occasion that he found that some of these reports earlier made by me were correct. The police also get side-income from the sale of venison, the sale of which is forbidden during the certain months in the State ; but is sad to say that even in these forbidden months also, the sale of venison is going on in Nongpoh and the rate goes up from the Rs. 8. to Rs. 10 per kg. and the share of the police is Rs. 2 per kg. This is a well known fact.
I remember a case of a friend of mine who had to apprehend some forest thieves far away near the Khree River. He went to the O. C. of the Nongpoh P. S. This was, of course, several years ago. At about 2 O'clock at night he went to the Police Station to wake him (Police Officer) up and inform him of the case. He had to give him one hundred rupees. And the next morning, he had to pay a further sum of 100 rupees to merely raise the subject. Then two jeeps and to be hired by us from our own pockets to take the A. S. I. and the staff of ten men to the forest, and when they got there, they drank all the liquor that was available in the neighborhood and elsewhere. They were supposed to wake up at about 4 A. M. in the morning to catch these forest thieves but due to heavy drinking, the A. S. I. and 3 constables were dead drunk and we had to wake them up. Ultimately they caught no thieves . They had to go back to Gauhati where my friend took them to the best restaurant and give them chicken, fish, eggs and mutton. After a good feed they came back to Nongpoh with a fatter stomach and my friend's purse leaner. Examples of this type are many. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will not dilate too much on this as we have already spoken on the Police, but I would like to stress upon the etiquette and behavior of the Police. As I said the behavior of the senior police, is absolutely admirable and excellent, but at the lower levels where the common man has to deal with the police, the situation is hopeless. Even the hon. Members from Laitumkhrah has said that when Police men come to our houses we consider it a sacrilege. He has rightly said that of our young boys are not encouraged to join our Police Force. This is also what happened in Assam. This is because of their poor background, this is because of their poor salary they received, I think the basic pay of constable is Rs. 80 on which I think they cannot live even for two days. So naturally, if somebody threw two or three biris on the ground, they will take them and will even salute the person. The salary has to be improved. Though this will not root out corruption, yet it will reduce the incidence of corruption . And strict rules must be issued that prisoners should not be beaten. We oppose the attitude of the Police that whenever a person is arrested, he should be beaten up by them. They should not be beaten up merely because they have been arrested. This is a very common practice of the Police, especially the police of the lower rank. Even the finest of persons sometimes may be in a tipsy condition and the first thing the Police do when they catch him is to beat the man and secondly to loot and rob him and then lock him up. He certainly becomes a wiser man in the lock up in the morning. I will cite another example. One friend from Laitumkhrah had a problem in the night. This happened several years ago. The friend was running to a mid wife for his wife who was in labour pains and he was running along the road together with a friend who is now an S. D. C. And just because they were running they were suspected to be thieves caught by the Laitumkhrah Police and severely beaten up in the lock up, at night leaving my friend's poor wife alone at home. For about two weeks no police dared to set foot in Laitumkhrah. What I mean to say is this that the lower ranks of the police are accustomed to brutal methods of beating the people and they live on the pockets of others. If a training centre can be opened for the police where actually they could be taught etiquette and good manners, they will become better custodians of law and guardians of the people. And naturally, we would have a much better police force if that can be done. By having a retired captain as the Chief Minister of the State and a retired Members of the I. P. S. as our Cabinet Ministers we had expected a much better police force, particularly at the lower ranks. But we see that perhaps they are of the same types, perhaps even worse, then even the days of the Lord Clive when the police were used for suppressing national movements. So I support this Cut Motion and I press for a special training for the police, an increase of salary and a training in etiquette. Thank you.
Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap : In opposing the Token Cut Motion, I would like to touch these points. First of all the recruitment of police persons. In this context, the State Government has relaxed rules to a certain extent to enable our local boys to apply for appointment in the Police Department. In this span of two years about half a dozen boys from my areas have joined the police force and when I asked them how they found after they have joined the force, they said, that there is really life. They now understand what is life and society. Now, we realise that police force is very important to serve the society. in the best way possible. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, most of the hon. Members are of the opinion that we have to improve the conditions of the police personnel especially at the lower level. During the days of the Government of Assam, this department was really in a very wretched condition but with the taking over of Meghalaya, in this span of two years, I have seen that the Government is very much alert about this and they are trying their best to improve the facilities of the police personnel. Just now, I refer to those boys from my area, one of the boys is a very good singer and a guitarist. I asked him whether he gets a chance to use and utilise his talent, he said that there is a very good scope in utilising his talent in a proper way. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, I feel that the process of recruitment to the Police Force actually should be more stiff than what it is now so that we can get better type of people to serve the society.
Coming to the failure in bringing satisfactory report in investigation, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, according to my personnel understanding investigation can be divided into three parts (1) the crime committed already (2) the crime still committing and (3) the crime stillin the hatching stage yet to be committed. It is rather difficult for the investigation Branch of the Police Department to do all these things and it needs a lot of intelligence and fact to tackle this problem. Besides that, as it is now, the society in which we are living is a cosmopolitan society which may warrant the people of this particular branch to know different types of languages. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I remember to have seen the news about two weeks ago when they have seized some amount of opium from Happy Valley side and it has come to my knowledge that this seizure could be effected only through the help of the Investigation Branch. Not only that, there are many other cases which they have detected and brought the culprit to book. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as regards the mobility of the Police personnel, it is really inadequate to make them mobile as it is now there are factors responsible for that. The hon. Member from Mawhati has suggested to place more vehicles and also the hon. Member from Nongtalang has made the same suggestion that more vehicles should be placed at the disposal of the Police Department . But I feel, in order to make the Police personnel more mobile and more effective and more economical, it would be proper if we can, instead of motor vehicles, provide them with more bikes, motor cycles or even scooters.
(Voices- or a horse)
Not a horse. Horse may be possible in a place in a police like Nongpoh where the roads are not motorable and where even a scooter or a motor bike even cannot go. But in many places in Meghalaya, we can place motor bikes or scooters at the disposal of the Police Stations. Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, lack of etiquette is also there. But there is a lot of improvement now . I remember, previously when I telephoned to the Police Station, the receiver at the Police Station will just straight -away shout "Police Station", which almost breaks the ear drums, but now I have noticed the improvement in the Police Station. When they receive the telephone, the first of all say " Good Morning, Sir, Mr. so and so speaking from Police Station. This is the beginning in the process of improving the Police Department. Therefore, Sir, I think if we can give more encouragement and more co-operation and participation from the leaders, from the public and citizens, we will be able to get more service and we will be able to have a better life than what we were having and we cannot deny the fact that improvement of the Police Department, depends not only on Government alone but the co-operation of the people in general will help improving the police administration.
Prof. A. Warjri : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the Cut Motion. As stated by the Finance Minister during his reply to the debate on the Budget, it is only two years since we have taken over the Police Department and it cannot be expected that within such a short time everything is to be done at the wink of the eye. We have inherited the police force as it was from the Government of Assam. We did not know what kind of people they were, but overnight we cannot convert them into angels. It is not to be expected that human character can be changed overnight. The force is composed of different people with different character. Some of them are polite, some are not, some are accommodating, some may be hoodlums, some of them may be angels but to standardize this character in the force is one of the most difficult tasks. I do not say that it should be left like that. In fact as I observed these days, I found that there is plenty of change in the character of the police personnel individually and in the police force as a whole. It is a more organised force, a more disciplined force. But a complete change should be made to the effect that the character of our police force should not remain as it was during the days gone by.
Now regarding recruitment. I know very well that efforts has and have been made to recruit a number of boys to the police force either in the Battalion or in the armed police force. I myself being a member of the District Selection Committee had the experience of suggesting to many candidates having a good physique, good chest and height I have suggested to them to join the police force, but many refused. And some of them who joined could not tolerate the training they had to undergo. We cannot expect our policeman to go untrained. They should be trained and made to realise the hard facts of motion that more recruitment centres should be opened in the villages and that more villagers who are willing to join should be recruited to the police force, I am afraid the Government will have to lower the standard or qualification for recruitment. It will have to come down to Class III or Class VI because most of these who are willing to join belong to that category. It will be difficult to find those who passed Class VI or Class VIII because most of them would come to Shillong in search of peons jobs. I am surprised at the accusation made by the mover of the Cut Motion that while he was condemning the treatment meted out by the police, their character and the mal-practices prevailing in the department, although the present police force has undergone a lot of improvement and so on-yet there is a demand for more police outpost with the same quality of police personnel. If we are to admit his accusation of the police force, then I would regret very much to say that the establishment of police outposts in other parts of the State is not welcomed. Now I ask him. Why do we need so many outpost in various parts of the State ? During the the erstwhile Government of Assam only a few police outposts were there. We were a quite people and there were as many cases as there are now. Since, we got a Hill State, there is a demand for police station here, a police station there, a police outpost here and a police outpost there. Now will it not be an insult to the local people to put in that areas or place a police outpost. Are we now undermining efficacy of the village durbars, the efficacy of the village leaders who so far had been able to solve most of the cases ? Why is there need for police outpost in many parts of the State ? I agree and that is why I stand to oppose this Cut Motion. The police force need many things, we need to modernize our police force, we need persons of good quality who would be well trained. Therefore, we need a Police Training Centre and we need policeman who will not take bribes and therefore, they should be better paid. We also need house for our policeman. As stated by many members, we need modern equipments like Forensic Laboratory, Finger Print Bureau, telecom etc and for this we need money. If this Cut Motion is to fall through then all these needs will be served. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I oppose the Cut Motion.
*Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I must in the first instance, as usual, thank the hon. Mover of the Cut motion for giving the opportunity the hon. Members of this august House to discuss the Police organisation and its functions. I am glad that the points which have to be covered in the course of my reply have already been dealt with at least by my colleagues from this side. I would request the hon. Members to be realistic and practical. I think all of us remember well that Meghalaya, as a full-fledged State, his come into being only two years ago. As an autonomous State, the regular Police set up was not there. On earlier occasions, the hon. members have criticised the Police Administration and they have even suggested that instead of depending on the Police from Assam, we should have organised our own Force. To that observation I have had the occasion to answer that unless and until we have get a new set up of Police administration, the State cannot function. Now, this aspect should be realised by all of us. If today there is inefficiency in the Police administration, if there is lock of etiquette and behaviour on the part of the Police personnel. It is not our own creation. Therefore, I am sure the hon. Members will agree with me that whatever force has been taken over the composite State of Assam would have to be utilised for our Police Force, and if there is need to improve and go for corrective measures both in the general administration of the Police and also the function of each and every Police personnel, we must be allowed sufficient time. It is not possible, as correctly pointed out by Prof. Warjri, to change the character or etiquette of a man within a short period of time. This aspect must be borne in mind while we are all out to criticize the Police and its functioning. A number of suggestions have been put forward about providing facilities for the Police personnel and it was argued that if better facilities and better pay and allowances are provided it may be possible to attract more local people to the Police Force. These are the suggestions but to what extent they will achieve the desired goal, I am not sure. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, our Police Force, be it the District Police or the Battalion has taken over from Assam and we have to function through them. These are rules and, as pointed out by Prof. P. Marbaniang, to bring about a number of improvements, we will have to go through them. But let us be more serious about one basic thing. Suppose we could accept the suggestion made earlier by our friends opposite: that we should have invited more till we are in a position to organise our own Police Force. Even if that were possible, I am doubtful whether we could bring about an entirely different Police set up in which there would be no scope for finding fault with individuals. It would be dependent upon the society. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had the occasion to reply when there was a demand that we should go for a clean and efficient administration. Who would not like to have it ? We are all out for it. But is it possible unless the society itself is clean and unless the society itself is all out for that ? There has been a talk of police personnel living on bribery. Is the police personnel alone responsible for that ? Why you, as a clean member of the society, should accept something to be done to you from the Police only by trying to exert his service by giving him additional illegal remuneration. Therefore, even if we have the occasion to raise our own Police Force and try to man the Force by the local people, I do not think it will be possible for us to have a Force which will be free from all these criticisms which have been brought before the House by the hon. Members, Mr. Khongwir has suggested that physical fitness of a person should not be the only criterion for recruitment to the Police Force. Adequate tests should be there. I entirely agree. In fact, nobody should be forced to enter into a particular type of job unless he has any inclination for a particular service. That is very essential. Now in this connection I do not know, because of some reasons or because of the fact that our people do not like the uniformed services whether it is difficult to attract our own people. Even in this context, if the hon. Members from both sides of the House are convinced that by encouraging our own people, or to be more specific, the Khasis, Garos and Jaintias to join police force for better police administration, then I would like to make an appeal that they should come forward. But they must be definite that our people by nature, by tradition are free from all these evils . Whether they can give a guarantee that while offering, appointments to the local people we will be able to set up an excellent police administration. I would like to have a definite guarantee from them. I know even in my own family all the five children I have are not equally good. Some are good, some are not. Therefore, it will not be correct to say that by conferring recruitment on the local people only we will be able to get a clean police administration. I do not agree to that. But I will agree with the suggestion that there must be a proper method of selecting personnel to the police Force as suggested by Shri G. Mylliemngap in that we may go in for stricter procedure. But this will be applicable not only to the Police Force but also to others recruitments under the Government. So let us not try to differentiate the procedure to be followed in the matter of recruitment to the different posts under the Government.
Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Joshi had complained that it was a matter of shame that even the IGP has not yet been provided with accommodation and now he is sharing a room in the Circuit House. It is a fact that at present he is staying in one part of the Circuit House. In any case we are trying to get a suitable accommodation for him. One was found out but it was found not to be suitable. Therefore, we are trying to find out an alternative accommodation for him. The DIG has a quarter, the AIG is moving to one quarter shortly. There has been a general complaint about investigation of crimes . Well for investigation into all the criminal cases we have to follow strictly the procedure laid down for the same in the existing norms of the country. Unless and until there is an active co-operation from the leading citizens, it will be possible for the investigation Branch alone to discharge its duties expeditiously and efficiently. In this connection, I would like to remind the hon. Members, through you, Sir, that, Meghalaya being a young State it has to be depend upon a few officers whom we got from the Government of Assam. We need experienced officers but how can we get experienced people within a period of 2 years. But efforts are being made to train officers and we are sending our officers to different training centres out side the State. So far we have got eight Police officers from Meghalaya Police who have received such training. In spite of lack of experienced officers I would like to inform the hon. Members, through you, Sir, that there has been a marked improvement in the investigation of crimes. In 1972 there were 1,105 cases and they have increased from 1,105 in 1972 to 1,322 in 1973. This is mainly due to deteriorating economic condition. The crimes against property and human body are 681 in 1973 as against 623 in 1972. The present conviction in 1973 is 36.5 higher than in 1972 which was 29.2. This will show a definite improvement in the quality of investigation. It was suggested to set up an investigation forensic laboratory of our own in Meghalaya. Well, it is very expensive and at present we have a common laboratory at Gauhati, according to Mr. Joshi. Well it is rather not in keeping with the idea of a separate State having a common laboratory like this. But in the same way we have got a laboratory for Finger Print at Shillong for both the States. Yes, I agree that we should have our own but at the same time we should also consider the expenditure and work-load. Therefore, I would request the hon. Members to be a little more patient about it. Mr. Francis Mawlot has made an allegation that one Police officer was misbehaving, and in course of the enquiry, a report was received and now he has been transferred. Any way, further enquiry report is awaited. I agree that the Police Force should have their own Training Centres. In fact, there has been a lot of questions about it, but unfortunately, Sir, the award of the Finance Commission is not adequate to take up this training facility immediately.
Now, with regard to housing and other formalities of the Police Department, we have taken up a programme including a Parade -ground for the police. Here, also, I would request hon. Members to realise that all these problems for providing better housing and better training facilities linked up with the Police Department, cannot be completed or properly attended to within this very short span of time. But we are now going a big way for re-organisation of the Police administration and all these requirements would also be taken into consideration. It was complained by some hon. Members that the Police while on duty with uniforms were drinking and somebody wanted to know from me whether they are allowed to drink while they are on duty in uniforms. Well, the Government instruction is very strict on that. They are not supposed to drink while on duty and in uniforms. Mr. Khongwir, the hon. Member from Mawlai, has expressed that even in uniforms the Police were drunk but performed better services and more effective than when he is normal. But still then that is not the instruction from the Government. I entirely agree with the hon. Members that there is lot of scope for bringing about improvement both in the set-up and also in trying to bring about better personnel to the Police Force, in providing better facilities and so on. I would like just to make an appeal to all of you regarding this improvement. As we know, Sir, this platform should not be utilised only for the sake of criticism and for post-mortem examination. Some of the hon. Members have stated that they have got personal witness of the omissions and commissions of certain Police Officers and Police personnel. But I do not know why they did not take immediate steps to bring those omissions to the notice of the Government. I will give an example. From the statement of the hon. Member from Mawhati and Prof. P. G. Marbaniang it appears they had the occasion to come across an incident where the police have beaten up one person who was running with his friend for help to his wife who was in labour pain. In this context, may I ask Prof. Majaw whether the matter was reported to the appropriate authority or not.
Prof. M. N. Majaw : On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I have already stated, that incident took place many years ago and that a Commission had been set up during the time of Chaliha as the Chief Minister of Assam.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I wish that in future if such incident take place either in Nongpoh or somewhere appropriate action will be taken by the Government if such incident is brought to its notice. As far as etiquette on the part of Police officers or the Police personnel is concerned, as I said we have brought a Force from the composite State of Assam and as such it may be combination of good and bad personnel. Corrective measures will be possible only when a case of misconduct on the part of the officer is brought to the notice of the Government on an appropriate date. In spite of these criticisms against the Police Department and its personnel, I am sure the hon. Members will agree with me that the law and order situation is comparatively better in our State than in the rest of the country. It may not be possible for me to give the entire credit to the police. It may be due to the composition of our society as a whole . If I am asked for my personal opinion, in fact, I would very much like to minimise the expenditure on Police for maintenance of the required Police Force. Because we belong to a society which is peace-loving and law abiding. Instead of asking for more Police Outposts, I think it should, be an attempt on the part of public leaders to see that the traditional peace-loving quality of our people is maintained and that the people drive out the police personnel from our areas. There was a time, in a number of cases, when the people do not require police protection. They still live a peaceful life. If you go to a number of villages in the interior you will find that the granaries are not under lock and key and they were placed for away from the villages in order to safeguard against fire and not a single grain of rice is stolen. Even in the bazaar areas, essential commodities were brought and were left like that without any Chowkidar. Therefore, I agree that while it is an earnest endeavours on the part of the Government to bring efficient Police administration. I think it should be our earnest wish also to see that we are in a position to maintain law and order without depending much on the police authorities . Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do now want to take much time of the House . There has been a talk about the need for more vehicles to make the police more mobile. In fact all these schemes are under consideration and to the extent possible, we will see that the mobile police really help the administration to the best satisfaction of the people.
I would therefore, make a request that in order to improve the police force in its administration, and also to improve the conduct and aptitude and etiquette of the police personnel, I think it will not be only the duty of police administration alone to do so, but we as public leaders also should extend every possible co-operation to the public administration.
I would also like to appeal to all of you not to give or pass any critical remarks on particular persons of the police force who have been found drunk or who are not of good character in their conduct and behaviour towards the people. Because of we always condemn or criticise the police administration either outside or inside the House or anywhere, I think it will give a bad name to all of us and it will affect the whole State. I think it affects ourselves and therefore, let us not condemn the police personnel.
I will agree with the hon. Member from Laitumkhrah, Prof. P. G. Marbaniang, when he made that kind of observation that whenever police comes to his House, then he or we should not be thinking that perhaps there is something wrong with him. Of course, I am not going to give an indirect suggestion to Mr. Marbaniang or anybody else who have associated in this discussion. But I would like to say that we should not be afraid of police without being ourselves guilty. Only those people who are guilty minded or criminal minded may be afraid of police lest the police may arrest them for their crimes. They are committing a crime and so they are afraid of the police whenever they see or when the police come to their house. If you are not committing any crime why should you be afraid of the police ? Instead you should co-operate with the police and give them any help they may want from you whenever they come to your locality to investigate any particular crime. They will not come to arrest you when you have not committed any crime. You are not a criminal and only those have done something wrong, as I said, will be afraid of the police. But we should not directly condemn the police, the entire police force. Now it appears from the argument and from the suggestions made by hon. Members that they want that the police administration to be run only by local persons. They want that local people should fill in the posts of police force, which I also differ. It all depends on the society.
*Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification, regarding the question of appointing the local people it is not fact that I condemn the other community or other citizens of the State for appointment. But, in fact, it is our consciousness, that since we have got a State of our own, we have to see for ourselves that police people of any part of the State should play an important role in looking after our State. As Government have already stated that they are going to organise the police force, my contention is not that other community is more corrupted or less corrupted than our community. That is not my point. I did not condemn any particular community on this score.
*Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am glad that the hon. Member has made a clarification in that way. Whatever it is, the police force will have to look after the rural areas or to see to the problems faced by the rural people or at least to do something useful in the interest of the State as a whole. Now it is not an auxiliary force but the subsidiary force to be organised as a police force in order to expedite cases and other activities in a disciplined manner. In this connection, we have already decided to have a Meghalaya Civil Task Force in the State to look into all the troubles happening in the day to day lives of our people.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also agree that there is a lot of scope for improvement in the police administration and so a lot of work has to be done to make it more attractive and more efficient . Government will take into consideration all these factors and whatever concrete suggestion placed before this by the hon. Members will be taken into account by the Government. But to bring in all-round efficiency in police administration, the Government should get the cooperation from all sides of this house. Therefore, while all of you are anxious to have better pay, better house and better equipment and facilities for the police administration, I hope you will extend your fullest co-operation to the whole police administration so that they will be able to run smoothly and to investigate criminal cases more effectively. I think you should have asked for giving more fund for police administration instead of bringing this cut motion. Therefore, I would request the hon. Member who has brought this Cut Motion to kindly withdraw it.
*Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my intention in bringing this Cut Motion is not in fact to demand for reduction of the provision that has been provided in the budget by Re.1 or by Rs. 100 or by any other amount. But the purpose of my bringing this Cut Motion is to get a chance to discuss the policy of the Government in so far as the police administration of the State is concerned. As far as this question is concerned, the Government has totally omitted in their two or three budget speeches the aspects of improvement of the police administration. So, Sir, my contention is to see that proper training, proper functioning and for better investigation of criminal cases by the police. In view of the assurances given by the Chief Minister that Government will consider and look into all these things for better police administration I withdraw my Cut Motion.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his Cut Motion ?
(Voices :-Yes, yes)
The Cut Motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.
Now, since the time is up, the House stands adjourned till 9 a. m. on Monday, the 24th June, 1974.
R. T. Rymbai
The 22nd June, 1974.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.