A team comprising officials from the Meghalaya Forest Department and Khasi Student Union (KSU) conducted a joint inspection at the Mahadev Khola temple complex in Shillong on August 3. The inspection was prompted by a recent complaint lodged by the KSU against alleged illegal settlers in the area.
The KSU had earlier filed a complaint with the Divisional Forest Officer of East Khasi Hills, accusing non-indigenous settlers of residing in the temple complex without valid documents. The association claimed that the land was allocated in 1923 for the construction of a Hindu temple for religious purposes and not for any settlement.
During today's joint inspection, the team found 30-40 houses and several shopkeepers of non-indigenous background living in the vicinity, raising concerns about the rightful usage of the land.
The issue gained attention on July 24 when the Mahadev Khola Dham was subjected to an attack by armed miscreants, resulting in injuries to devotees and a shop owner. Following the incident, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma addressed the media and urged news agencies to exercise responsibility and refrain from attributing a communal color to the incident.
Chief Minister Sangma emphasized that there is no connection between the temple attack in Meghalaya and the ongoing situation in Manipur. He stressed the importance of presenting accurate and verified information to the public and cautioned against sensationalizing the incident or creating misleading narratives.
"Attributing communal or religious motives to this incident is unfounded. News agencies should conduct thorough research and fact-checking before reporting on sensitive matters," stated Chief Minister Sangma.
He also reassured the public that appropriate action would be taken against news agencies disseminating false or misleading information. The Chief Minister reiterated the need to avoid unwarranted associations and to focus on presenting factual and unbiased reports to the public.
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