Adelbert calls off fast, meets Governor

Mother of Adelbert Nongrum offers sweets as her son breaks his indefinite hunger strike in city
on Monday. (ST)

SHILLONG:  Within hours after temporarily withdrawing his indefinite fast, former KHADC CEM Adelbert Nongrum on Monday met Governor V Shanmuganathan to request him for re-inclusion of the deleted clauses of the KHAD (Village Administration) Bill, 2015 saying “they are very critical to safeguard the identity of the Khasi people of the State.”
“We have requested the Governor to include the two clauses (Section 5 Para 8 and 16), which were deleted from the original bill in the modified bill passed by the KHADC on May 30 last,” Nongrum told newsmen after meeting the Governor.
He said that the present Congress-led Executive Committee in the Council has amended these clauses on the recommendations of the State Government.
“The amendment of the two clauses has taken away the core objectives of the bill — protection of the customary practices of the indigenous people of the State bestowed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution,” former KHADC CEM said. Referring to his decision to suspend indefinite fast, he said, “I have taken this decision to start an awareness campaign in various parts of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills on the original and modified VAB,” he said urging the ARPA members to join hands in his endeavour.
“If they join this campaign then they should come as an individual MDC and not representing any political party. This should be a movement of the people and not of any political party,” Nongrum asserted.
When asked if the indefinite hunger strike was a futile exercise since he did not achieve what he wanted, the former KHADC CEM admitted that the real battle was yet to be won. “My indefinite hunger strike forced the State Government to facilitate the passing of the Bill,” he added.