A Congress legislator in Meghalaya has demanded that the people residing along the
international border with Bangladesh be tested for COVID-19. Mawsynram MLA Himalaya Shangpliang’s demand came after a positive case was allegedly reported in Dhormopur village in Sunamganj district of Bangladesh, just 500 metres from Ryngku Bazaar in Mayswnram block in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.
Shangpliang said he got the information about the case from the BSF company commander of the Ryngku border outpost.
“In view of the proximity of the Bangladeshi village to India, it is mandatory that all protocols related to safeguarding the people from the spread of the disease be enforced,” he said.
The legislator said he has informed Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma about the case and requested the administration to immediately conduct random testing of people
residing in villages along the international border.
Shangpliang has suggested that the tests be conducted in Ryngku, Sonatola and Dangar villages. He said the tests will enable the health department to survey the villages and also prevent its residents from contracting the disease.
“Although the government has announced that the international border has been sealed, there is a continuous exchange of essential commodities across the border even
during the lockdown,” the Congress leader alleged.
He claimed that residents of Cherakata and adjoining villages in the area recently heard sounds of gunfire from the BSF’s border outpost.
“It was later reported that they had resorted to firing to chase away Bangladeshis who had tried to sneak into India. Therefore, our villages are not safe from the outbreak in the neighbouring country,” he said.
Shangpliang also requested Home Minister Lakmen Rymbui to immediately call a meeting with the director general of police and inspector general of the BSF to take stock of the
situation along the international border in view of the recent rise in the number of cases in Bangladesh.