James Sangma
File photo of James Sangma.

The media fraternity in Meghalaya has demanded an apology from state home minister James K Sangma for his misbehaviour with journalists.

The media persons also condemned the minister’s uncalled for behaviour with the press people waiting at his office door for a meeting with him to seek answers to several questions, currently being raised by the public.

After a meeting at the Shillong Press Club, a letter signed by several journalists and submitted to Sangma on Tuesday expressed shock at the unwanted behaviour of the home minister in the secretariat on Monday evening.

Also read: Meghalaya: Minister James K Sangma misbehaves with journos

The media persons also submitted a list of 24 questions to the minister and sought for his replies soon.

“Your unwanted behaviour which is all recorded on video camera was shocking and unprecedented for the press people who have been in the field for many years. We, therefore, demand an unconditional apology for your act of humiliating the press and threatening violence against a senior member of our fraternity, who only sought to shake hands and put you some questions,” the letter said.

Also read: Why did Meghalaya Home Minister turn a “ruffian” to bully working journalists?

It may be mentioned that the minister avoided speaking to eight waiting journalists who had waited for him when he emerged out of his office chamber in the secretariat on Monday evening.

While avoiding the journalists, the minister accused the journalists of blocking his way and pushed aside a senior journalist who was holding his hand in a friendly manner as part of the happy new year greetings.

Also read: Meghalaya Youth Congress condemns James Sangma’s CAB comment

“What the hell you are doing” Why are you blocking my way like that?” the minister reacted he walked down the steps in the secretariat.

Seeing the unwanted behaviour of the minister, the senior journalist too reacted, “Who the hell you think of yourself? Who are you?”

The home minister then climbed up the steps with an intention to come face to face with the senior journalist and asked, “What is your problem?”

The senior journalist also clarified that there was no intention to block the minister’s way.

“I only want to ask some questions, but I am not blocking your way. If I blocked you, you have your guards.”

Meanwhile, in the letter, the press fraternity reminded the minister that journalists have also tried to meet him many times individually, and as a group, but the minister remained elusive for reasons best known to him.

“On January 6 again, we had tried to meet you and waited outside your door for more than three hours seeking answers from the home minister of the state on several issues,” the letter said.

The press fraternity also decided to submit a letter to the chief minister, Conrad k Sangma in connection with the incident.

The press fraternity also sent to the minister a list of 24 questions seeking answers for the enlightenment of the citizens of the state, who are in the dark on many important issues.

The questions include –

1) When is the state delegation meeting the Union home minister Amit Shah on the Inner Line Permit (ILP) issue?

2) Suspected miscreants from across the international border entered Indian territory and attacked civilians near Dawki border village. What are the steps taken to verify the culprits and bring them to book and ensure the security of the citizens in the border area?

3) What are the actions being taken by the state government to prevent illegal transportation of coal in the state? What do you have to say on the allegation that these illegalities are being carried out right under the nose of the state police?

4) Are you aware that coal-laden trucks are plying round the clock on the national highways?

5) You as the home minister never gave statements when the state was facing law and order problems. Why were you silent?

6) You are alleged to have been responsible for illegal collection in Dainadubi check gate. What do you have to say about this?

7) What do you have to say about the allegation of nexus between police and ministers, politicians and the coal barons in the alleged illegal coal transportation on the highways?

8) What is the status of the inquiry into the suspected murder of a KSU leader Teiborlang Marwein in South West Khasi Hills district?

9) What measures being taken to prevent crimes against women and children in the light of numerous cases recorded in the state, the latest being the gang rape of a minor girl in West Jaintia Hills District?

10)   What is the government doing about the cry of the people residing along with the dispute areas on the Assam-Meghalaya border with the repeated atrocities against them by the Assam police?

11)   What is the status of the assault case on Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma and the murder of Poipynhun Majaw, former president of the Jaintia Youth Federation  (JYF).

12)   What is the power scenario in the state?

13)   What is the reason behind the load-shedding? How long will the load-shedding continue?

14)   What is the status of the Saubhagya scheme being implemented in the state?

15)   When will the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) be restructured?

16)   When will the state government clear the pending dues of more than Rs 600 crores to NEEPCO?

17)   Are there any pending dues with other power generating companies? Please give details.

18)    What is the status of the hydro and thermal power projects in the state?

19)   There were many assault and arson cases during the anti-CAA protests and ILP campaigns? How many FIRs were filed and the status of each case?

20)   A mock drill was conducted on 6th January 2020 creating panic among the public in the city. Is the government anticipating any future trouble and from who?

21)   Has there been any inquiry ordered into the alleged diversion of central fund worth over Rs 16.50 crore by the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC)? What is the government’s take on the demand made by the 4 MDCs for a CBI probe?

22)   What is the status in as far as the appointment of the CEM of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) is concerned?

23)   Has the Governor approved the recommendation of the Cabinet for invoking the Administrator’s Rule in the KHADC?

24)   What step the state government is taking to address the financial crunch faced by the three autonomous district councils (ADCs) – KHADC, JHADC, and GHADC?

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