Mega procession: Thousands take part •Mukul Govt served November 4 deadline
SHILLONG: The traditional heads under the banner Synjuk Ki Nongsynshar Shnong ka Bri u Hynniewtrep (SNSBH) on Friday threatened to storm the Main Secretariat early next month if the Mukul Sangma-led coalition government fail to fulfill their demands.
“If our demands are not met before November 4, the federation along with people from across the state will march and demonstrate in front of the main secretariat on November 5,” the SNSBH president Dr W Kharshiing announced after the rally.
Among the demands include immediate assent of the village administration bills by the Governor, reconvening of a special session of the Assembly to do away with the recently amended Prevention of Disqualification (Members of Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) preventing an elected representative to hold dual post.
The tribal chiefs also demanded that the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) should not extend its jurisdiction to scheduled areas except in municipal areas.
Earlier in the day, thousands of people took to the streets here and the state capital came to a standstill for several hours.
The rallyists burned an effigy of the Chief Minister near the additional secretariat and demanded resignation of Khasi-Jaintia Hills based cabinet ministers — Ampareen Lyngdoh, Deputy Chief Minister in charge Law Rowell Lyngdoh, and District Council Affairs Minister, HDR Lyngdoh, besides the Congress legislator Ronnie Lyngdoh.
Addressing the crowd, the SNSBH chief enlightened the participants the reasons behind calling the rally.
“The state government’s move to do away with dual post signifies that it has infringed in the customary rights of the indigenous people by seizing power of the District Council,” he said.
Kharshiing also advocated that the Government should transfer the right to give certificates to the Headmen and not to SDOs/BDOs.
The protest march which started from Lachumiere at around 11-30am passed through various routes of the city, amid strict vigil of security personnel deployed at various junctions.
Khasi Patriotic song , “Ri Khasi” filled the air at the gathering at Parking lot, the place was overfilled with crowds of people raising their hands as a sign of agreeing to the resolutions set forth by the traditional heads.
From Lower Lachumiere the crowd was led towards Additional Secretariat, Civil Road, and down to Keating Road, Police Bazaar near the Deputy Commissioner’s office and culminated at Additional Secretariat Parking Lot. Several shops in parts of the city including those at Barabazar remained closed during the procession.
The mammoth rally called by the traditional heads passed off peacefully, a police officer said while adding that the need for the use of drones this time did not come up as the crowd was not violent.