Citizens rally against GNLA bandh

People to come out of homes during Monday bandh

From Our Correspondent

 TURA: Undaunted by the upcoming bandh call given by the GNLA in Garo Hills the people of Tura have decided to come out of their homes and take part in a peace rally at 8 am on Monday to demand end to conflict and return of normalcy.

The GNLA has reportedly called for a 6 am to 6 pm all Garo Hills bandh for 300 hours with Saturdays and Sundays out of the bandh purview.

The outfit wants the withdrawal of security forces operations from the jungles of Garo Hills where the militant group has several of its camps.

On Sunday afternoon, despite very hot and humid conditions prevailing, over six thousand people from different parts of Tura and its surrounding areas converged at Chandmari playground to appeal for an end to bandh.

The appeal by the United Christian Peace Forum to the people to join the peace rally was given an overwhelming response not just in Tura but also in other towns of Garo Hills including Williamnagar where a 3000-strong crowd took part in the rally. Peace meets were also held at Chokpot and Baghmara in South Garo Hills district.

With the first phase of the GNLA bandh slated for Monday, the citizens have expressed their keenness to rebel against stifling of their fundamental rights.

Several thousand citizens of Tura have endorsed the decision to hold another rally on Monday morning from Chandmari field up to Police Parade ground in Tura bazaar where a public meeting will be held.

A move is afloat to ensure normal plying of transport and buses will be out on the streets by 7 am to ensure the public are able to utilize it for moving to the parade venue.

A similar rally is expected in different centres of Garo Hills including Ampati town, home constituency of Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma.

It is worth mentioning that Ampati and Selsella, constituency of Opposition leader Conrad Sangma, experienced the longest spell of closure. The GNLA closed down the two constituencies for three days and soon after extended another five days of bandh depriving the common people of their daily earnings.

Meanwhile, some concerned civilians have been sending out appeals through mobile messaging urging people to come out on Monday and join the protest rally.