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Langpih protesters end fast-unto-death

From Our Correspondent

UDP legislator and other members of the People’s Movement with
Pynskhemlang Nongshlong at Langpih on Thursday. (ST)

 NONGSTOIN: After 13 days of continuous fasting, Pynskhemlang Nongshlong and the other activists called off their fast-unto-death on Thursday.

The decision to call off the fast-unto-death programme came after a team of the People’s Movement led by Ardent Basaiawmoit visited Langpih and succeeded in convincing the activists to call of their agitation.

Basaiawmoit told the agitators that the people’s Movement would join the protestors and continue their struggle in a different form and at a different location.

When asked by this scribe, Basaiawmoit said that the nature and venue of the programme would be announced shortly.

Ardent told the agitators that the Assam Police were planning to come to Langpih and arrest them. If such a thing happened, the whole idea behind the agitation would go in vain. Fighting from a jail in Assam would be a bigger task for them, he told Pynskhemlang and others.

Alleging that the State Government was busy involved in other issues and did not give them importance, he told the protesters that they would have to find new ways to make the Government respond to their problems and provide a quick solution.

Ardent also said that the whole State was behind Pynskhemlang and the others in their struggle for Langpih.

The Nongkrem legislator told them that their next phase of agitation would receive greater appeal and support as the Langpih issue has now been nationally recognized.

He also said that the fast was causing great inconvenience to the other villagers of Langpih.

“There is no doubt that the villagers came on their own to support this noble cause but many households that depend on daily wages and farming are struggling since the earning member is participating in the fast,” Ardent told the agitators.

After hours of convincing the Hima Raid Mynsaw and the agitators, all the agitators decided to call off the fast.

Ardent was initially able to win over the Hima Raid Mynsaw and gradually the members of the Hima approached Pynskhemlang and the others and were finally able to convince them to call off their agitation.

A visibly-upset Pynskhemlang later told The Shillong Times that it was useless for him to continue the fast if the people of the area felt that they should call off the agitation.

It may be noted that altogether 17 activists had joined in the fast but only eight of them continued the fast till Thursday as the rest had to be admitted to the Shillong Civil Hospital following deteriorating health conditions.

The agitators had, earlier, rejected an appeal by State Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh who was rushed to Langpih to convince the activists to call of their agitation.

However, Lyngdoh’s visit failed to achieve any results as the activists were not willing to relent. They had even rejected an assurance letter dispatched by the State Government on Wednesday, alleging that the letter only contained more promises and did not address their demands.

The agitators had been fasting for the last 13 days to pressurize the State Government to initiate action to resolve the Meghalaya-Assam inter-State border dispute at Langpih at the earliest.

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