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Meghalaya Home Minister resigns, CM rejects

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, Nov 21 � Owning moral responsibility for her failure to contain the violence in the Garo Hills, Meghalaya�s first woman Home Minister Roshan Warjri has tendered her resignation, but Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has requested her to continue.

Warjri submitted her resignation to Sangma on Thursday afternoon, stating that she has failed to contain the deteriorating law and order situation in Garo Hills. Confirming the development, Sangma said in the Assembly today that he has received the resignation letter of Warjri but has not accepted it.

�It is a fact that the Home Minister submitted her resignation to me in the afternoon yesterday. I have tried to prevail upon her to continue. I have not accepted the resignation,� Sangma informed the week-long Winter session of the Assembly, which began today.

Warjri was inducted in the Sangma Cabinet barely a year and eight months ago, but the somewhat reticent Home Minister has been under constant pressure to bring some semblance of order in Garo Hills, which is festering under violence.

In recent times, the police have been targeted in Garo Hills and two policemen were killed after militants blasted an Improvised Explosive Device on a road in Rewak, South Garo Hills. Police have been similarly attacked in other instances too.

Moreover, two persons were killed in police firing in Jaintia Hills recently after the police opened fire on demonstrators who had blocked the National Highway in protest against the National Green Tribunal�s ban on coal mining.

Therefore, there were demands for Warjri�s resignation in the past, but she was able to stay afloat in the Cabinet so far. But with no sign of peace returning to Garo Hills, Warjri finally resigned from the Ministry.

Ironically, there are two other women Ministers in the Sangma Cabinet now and both are under pressure to resign for different reasons. Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh is facing charges of corruption and nepotism and a case is pending against her for allegedly tampering with the score sheets of candidates during a teacher�s recruitment.

Social Welfare Minster Deborah Marak has been charge-sheeted by the State police for her alleged links with the Garo National Liberation Army. She has appeared before the Court recently and was granted bail on a surety of Rs 1 lakh. Both these Ministers have refused to quit.

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