Five pressure groups stages ‘surprise protest march’

Defying the prohibitory order impose by the East Khasi Hills District administration under section 144 CrPC in entire Shillong city, which bans assembly of more than five persons, the activists of the five pressure groups on Tuesday staged a ‘surprise protest march’ to the secretariat against the failure of the state government to implement ILP and addressing various demands.


The nine points of demands include immediate relocation of the Sweepers’ Colony from Them Iew Mawlong, to review the MoU signed under the first phase of border talks with Assam, to punish the police officials involved in the killing of ex-HNLC leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, action against people involved in the various scams, resolving unemployment crisis, reviewing of the office memorandum on job recruitment at the district level and repealing of the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act (MRGA), 2021.


Speaking to reporters, HYC general secretary Roykupar Synrem said the deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong had called upon all members of pressure groups not to be busy in the streets and beating up people but to come to the secretariat to discuss any issues.


“Based on that call given by the deputy CM, we have decided to march to the secretariat to meet and put question to them (ministers) as to what has happen to the resolutions related to the ILP and Khasi language, what happen to the report of the one man commission of inquiry which stated that the police are involved in the killing of ex-HNLC leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, what happen to the various charges of corruption, as to what the government is doing regarding the unemployment, job reservation policy as well as repealing of the casino act,” he said.


“We came with that motive and objective to meet the people who are representing us but sadly we came to know that from now onwards if you want to meet your representative, you have to seek permission from the deputy commissioner. This is unfortunate as we have not had this kind of a situation before,” he added.


Condemning the imposition of 144 CrPC across the state capital, Synrem said that this is nothing but a ploy of the government to keep the people’s voice at their homes by not allowing people to come to the street to show that they are not happy with its functioning.


He alleged, “May be this is just a ploy or a tactic of this government to further strengthen its own party so that they may gain political mileage in the next election.”


Synrem said, “You cannot implement laws in order to keep the people from protesting or from showing and exercising their rights. We make it clear that we will not abide by these kinds of laws or order by the district magistrate.”


Synrem said that actually they did not want to meet the home minister since they already knew it will not be a fruitful meeting and it will be just a waste of time.


“But at the end we respect him as a home minister so we just went and informed him that today we have launched this Save Hynniewtrep Mission and that in the coming days the five organizations will further intensify agitations,” he said.


Meanwhile, the HYC leader said the state government and the district administration to be prepared for more and more surprise agitations.


“We will be announcing a series of agitations. Our members and volunteers will go to every place that the chief minister visits, that the deputy chief minister visits or any minister visit whether it is for their own party meeting or for official meetings – to remind and ask them as to what happened to these points of demands,” he said.


He said that the timeframe put forth by the five pressure groups in the first phase of agitation is for the government to fulfill the demands before the model code of conduct is made effective in the state.


“During this period there will be a series of agitations. After the model code of conduct is announced, we will sit and discuss our future course of action,” Synrem stated.


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