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Ri Bhoi rape case: Assembly Committee directs reinstatement of ASHA

Inquiry reveals highhandedness of Nongsier dorbar
Shillong, Sep 15: Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment chairperson Ampareen Lyngdoh today held a deposition on the notorious Jirang disabled rape case which came out with the recommendation that the terminated ASHA worker from Nongsier-Jirang be reinstated.
It should be done immediately by tomorrow, Lyngdoh said. She told the Highland Post after the meeting that the deputy commissioner of Ri Bhoi had already initiated an inquiry into the happenings in Nongsier village and had made several recommendations to reinstate law and order and the confidence of the people on the state administration.
The ASHA was hounded out of her job by the village dorbar for helping file a police complaint in a disabled rape case in the village on June 17. The Nongsier-Jirang had removed the ASHA from her job stating that she had ‘defamed’ the village and the members of the executive committee.
Taking serious note of the issue, Lyngdoh who held the deposition in Nongpoh said that that the DC’s inquiry had found that the allegations leveled by the dorbar against the ASHA were false.
Lyngdoh said that dorbar has been asked to withdraw the letter of removal of the ASHA. The DC had also initiated discussions with the Syiem of Hima Jirang, the appellate body of the region to make arrangements for the election of a new dorbar for the village Nongsier.
Lyngdoh at the meeting, which was attended by the all top officers of the district including members of the Social Welfare and the DMHO also discussed ways to give support and protection to the disabled rape survivor.
She said that the vandalised home of hers would be repaired immediately.
The DC’s inquiry revealed the highhandedness of the Dorbar which had decided in a the dorbar meeting on June 15, that it would demolish all “abandoned houses” and discussed about the “abandoned” house of the rape victim, who along with her mother had gone to stay with her grandmother out of fear.
The house was vandalized by “unknown miscreants” on June 21. However, no one has been arrested till date.
According to a complaint by the mother of the victim, one Andira Rani, relative of the accused person had threatened the ASHA that she would lose her job after the FIR was filed.
While an FIR was also lodged against Andira, Melani Rani and the dorbar shnong relating to the damage of the house, 34 members of the village executive committee are accountable for the removal of the ASHA even as the ASHA facilitator and ANM stated that the health worker of Nongsier-Jirang was sincere in her performance, as per the report.
On this, Lyngdoh said the Ri Bhoi SP has been given two weeks to send update to the committee on any headway made to nab culprits responsible for vandalizing the victim’s home.
Lyngdoh lament the fact that so much suffering and misery had been heaped on a poor disabled woman and her family.
“I condemn the wrongful dismissal of the ASHA worker”, she said. This kind of things should not happen, she asserted.