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Meghalaya plans action against preacher urging people to shun Aadhaar, stop voting and schooling

Over the past several months, rumours about the evangelist’s activities have been doing the rounds in East and South West Khasi Hills districts as well as Jaintia Hills.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2018 19:41 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Shillong
evangelist,Meghalaya,Evangelist in Meghalaya
Khasi people stand in a queue to cast their votes during the Meghalaya state assembly election in Nongpoh on February 27.(AP File Photo)

An evangelist urging people to reject government schemes such as Aadhaar, the public distribution system and even adult franchise, has come to the attention of the Meghalaya government, who are planning action against him.

Speaking to HT over phone from his hometown Pynursla, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said, “I have been informed by several people that a person who goes by the surname Phawa is misleading the people in Khasi-Jaintia hills and somehow convincing them to abstain from such welfare schemes which is very much against the constitution.”

“I asked them to file a FIR against that person so that the government can immediately initiate an investigation. We will act as per the law of the land and punish him suitably.”

Over the past several months, rumours about the evangelist’s activities have been doing the rounds in East and South West Khasi Hills districts as well as Jaintia Hills.

Apparently, he goes around asking parents to stop sending their children to school, surrender their job cards and ration cards and absolutely abstain from Aadhaar enrolment which, he said, was actually the “Mark of the Beast 666” (Satan) as mentioned in the Bible.

He also alleged to have convinced several families to follow these instructions.

Last year, there were also reports that scores of people in Pynursla and Mawkynrew areas in East Khasi Hills districts were convinced that voting was evil and would bring bad luck. So while some used sticks, etc. to press the button in the EVMs in the assembly elections, others simply did not vote.

Herbert Lyngdoh, superintendent of police of South West Khasi Hills district where such rumours are going viral, told HT that he too had heard such rumours in the recent past but said it is yet to be ascertained whether they are true or not.

“If someone comes forward and complaints to us formally, we will immediately launch an investigation to ascertain the veracity of the rumours,” he said. “As of now we don’t even know his full name, whether he is a preacher or a Church leader and from which denomination.... It is still very much at the rumour stage.”

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 19:41 IST