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Garo groups to reinforce stir over council from Sept 29

GUWAHATI: Miffed at the silence of the state government over a separate autonomous council for the Garo community in Assam, several organisations in Goalpara and Kamrup districts of Assam have hinted at intensifying its agitation from September 29.
At least seven organisations comprising the Garo National Council (GNC), Garo National Union (GNU), Garo Gaon Bura Santha, Garo Sahitya Sabha, Garo Mahila Parishad, Youth Parishad and All Achik Youth Federation spearheaded the agitation with a 12-hour chakka bandh on September 12 in protest against the government’s “apathy” towards their long pending demand for an autonomous council in the state.
Speaking to The Shillong Times on Thursday, GNC Assam state zone president, Thengsil Sangma expressed concern at the muted approach of the authorities so far, asserting that it would not sit back and instead bolster its agitation.
“We have decided to organise a massive public meeting at Bakrapul under Dudhnoi police station on September 29 to decide on the future course of action as there has been no response from the government so far. It is very likely that we will resort to rail blockades and dharnas in front of police stations in the coming days if the government remains mum,” Sangma said.
All the Garo organisations of the two districts will take part in the public meeting.
The Garo community in Goalpara and Kamrup districts particularly, he said, has been neglected on all fronts. “Only an autonomous council can uplift the community and protect our identity and culture,” he said.
Sangma further said that representatives from the community will on Monday take up the matter of non-inclusion of border villagers from the community in the complete draft National Register of Citizens published on July 30.
Almost 75 per cent of Garo population in most of the 323 villages on the Assam-Meghalaya border has been excluded from the draft.

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