Proposed 6th schedule ammendment: AGHJAC submits memorandum to CEM GHADC

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The All Garo Hills Joint Action Committee (AGHJAC), a conglomerate of various NGOs from Garo Hills submitted a memorandum to CEM GHADC Benedic R Marak and Deputy CEM  Nikman Ch. Marak has expressed concern over the recent proposal by the Union Cabinet for the amendment of the sixth scheduled.

 

During the meeting, advisor of AGHJAC Roger Benny A Sangma lead the discussion and demanded that the age old traditional institution should not be diluted:

 

In the memorandum, the organisation said, “The very establishment of the village council should not be made or formed where the GARO traditional institution of Nokma-Ship will be affected in any manner, which can lead to the extinction of our culture and heritage.”

 

It is also mentioned that the establishment of village Council should not cease the power and function of Nokma in any way whatsoever.

 

“Even  the United Nations declares on the rights of indigenous people and was adopted by the General Assembly on 2007, therefore we urge both the Central and the state Government to respect the Rights of the indigenous people,” the statement said.

 

The letter reads, the Rights of Nokma over Her A’king land shall not be ceased or affected by the formation of Village Council or Village Development Committee and also shall not have any power over the power bestowed by the sixth schedule for the A’king Nokmas.

 

“ No Village council or Village Development Committee shall, without the consent and permission of the Nokma acquire any portion of land that falls under the jurisdiction of A’king Nokma,” it says.

 

Stating that A’king Nokma shall have veto power and any developmental scheme should be approved under his warrant and seal, the memorandum says, “Any proposal for implementing any kind of schemes or projects should be implemented through A’king Nokma concerned only. If the A’king Nokma concerned feel or disagree in regard to any kind of establishment or scheme, then the village council or village Development Committee shall not implement or impose the same.”

 

“Garo Hills Autonomous District Council should also adopt a new nomenclature as ” Garoland Territorial Council (GTC)” ,as in our neighbouring State (Assam) as Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC),” the organisation said.

 

Following the discussion, GHADC CEM Benedic R Marak is said to have assured the leaders that the Nokma A’kingland would not be tampered with and the power of the Nokma would remain the same. The CEM also reportedly said that the Municipal Area under the Sixth Schedule would be relooked and amended accordingly even as he informed that different stakeholders would be holding a meeting on the issue with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma in Shillong on September 10.

 

In the interim, the AGHJAC request the CEM to halt the recommendation so that citizens can have sufficient time to discuss and express their concern and consensus can be attained in a true democracy.