Darkness on the edge of town : 10 thoughts on ‘Punjabi Line’


What actually happened on the 31/5/2018 would be best known only to a few with whom the incident occurred. But when an incident is made sensational news for heavy sale, for political power, for organizational comeback, then facts are distorted and every day the facts are woven into such lies that creates mayhem and breeds hatred among communities. Sad to see people reach to such a low with their vulgarities. We were known for being a loving race that respects man and God but the recent incident displayed all. Our level of tolerance was zero. All because the past Governments did not do their work all these years and one wonders why…


Punjabi line, in Shillong, is a portion of a land which belongs to the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB), was given by the then Syiem (Raja) of Mylliem in 1954 to the Municipal Board. A portion of the land was allocated as quarters for the Sweepers who worked under the Municipality. A portion has also been given to a local for petrol pump in 1978, which is now supposedly in court and many shops too were given out on lease by the SMB.


Now later for reasons best known to few, this place became a money minting place for few Punjabis in the know of few of our Corrupt locals in high Positions in Traditional Institutions or in Government. Small dingy rooms were expanded and given out on rent. (Was informed, only recently that there were some locals too who had taken shops on rent there.) Shops were opened out, which reached almost to the road and buses that ply through this route are going at less than the speed of 20 per km/hour. There also was office of the bus syndicate which earlier had sought certain Clarification’s from the SMB, for which no replies were made.


The few persons making money out of this place were allowing anyone and everyone who can pay to stay here without checking their antecedents and children became the targets, where few minor girls were even raped and could not file complaints for fear of the few that controlled the area.


Further there were few that were also being paid by some businessmen to be able to keep their goods there. Mind you everyone gets a share here. Then there are Politicians who are playing dual games for votes.


Few Genuine Punjabi’s who wanted rooms on rent though were not given space here in this Punjabi Line. They had to look for rent in another area in Shillong which they got and are happy enough there. I just had tea a week back with this Punjabi. I am human and I have to learn to respect every human. So being human does not mean I sell off my State.


But from previous knowledge even some Punjabi’s in that area face harassment from their own people who are much better off. When they go to file complaints a group of women would barge into the Police Outpost and create scenes and shout. Many Police having served there know this fact but do not act as they benefit too. This has been a good posting place to make money…


Sex Trafficking under this Police outpost was very obvious right under the Parking space opposite Anjalee Cinema. Drugs are sold in this parking area too. But the illegal trade is by both communities the tribal and some Punjabis and other communities who get shelter in the other Punjabi settlement near the Police outpost.
A Punjabi person who was charged in a killing earlier (years back) under this Out Post was declared dead but later comes back after few years and this again was with help from a corrupt Policeman serving in the State of Meghalaya. This policeman in connivance with some local police may have helped hide many criminal cases of a politicians nephew in Shillong.

Such is the bond among the corrupt…


We all know there are profitable postings which some police pay to get and stay there. This is the reason you see them around always. If you don’t pay or protect criminals you get kicked out often be it Tribal or Non-Tribal cop. I was told by a tribal cop that he has been transferred 12 times while his counterpart was not.


When things get from bad to worse, the communal card is played distorting facts and fueling communal hatred…after all this dies down they are all together again looting, cheating, corrupting, extorting, exploiting, and laughing behind our backs…

Is all this hatred worth it? When we can spiritually mend and blend together respecting one another as one Human Race… Respecting each one’s space. Above all, God expects us to be protecting the vulnerable instead…


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Agnes Kharshiing Written by:

Agnes Kharshiing is a leading human rights activist from Meghalaya. She is a leader of CSWO (Civil Society Women's Organisation)

One Comment

  1. Barnabas Nongbah
    June 26, 2018

    Factual reporting. This kind of report should be carried by the national media.

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