HYC protesters defy dist admin order, shifted

SHILLONG: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) members on a three-day hunger strike from Thursday were shifted from the Additional Secretariat parking lot to another site after they defied the district administration’s directive barring organisations to stage protests after 4 pm.
In a late development, the general secretary of HYC informed that the members were taken to the office of the Council at Mawlai where they would continue their hunger strike.
The HYC members stayed beyond the specified timing late in the evening following which police officers and magistrate, I. Majaw, rushed to the location to talk to them.
With the members not budging from their stand, the district administration herded 30 of them into a bus and took them to another location around 7 pm.
Later, speaking to reporters, SP East Khasi Hills, said, “They have not been arrested but removed from here. They will not be taken to the police station as we don’t want them to create any problems here. We will take a call later in regard to further action against them.” Asked whether the HYC has defied any order, the SP replied in the affirmative as they cannot be allowed to stage the hunger strike at night.
Asked about the reason why the organisation cannot hold any protest, he said, “We anticipate a lot of law and order problems. If you remember during the last Assembly session, they had marched to the Assembly and staged a protest. So these kind of things we cannot allow.”
It may be mentioned that the Assembly session will be held on December 8, 13 and 14. He informed that the HYC could hold the hunger strike when there is no Assembly session.
On whether the members will be registered under any cases, he said the matter will be decided later.
Marak said permission was given to them for the hunger strike on Thursday (December 7).
“But we cannot allow them to continue till tomorrow (Friday). Secondly, at night it becomes a problem in case anything happens to them and monitoring will also become a problem.”
HYC members’ procession
After addressing the members at Malki, the HYC took out a procession from Malki to Additional Secretariat parking lot to stage the hunger strike.
Traffic came to halt as the protestors shouted the slogans, “Mukul Sangma, down, down,” “Bangladeshis…Nepali, Bihari.. go back” etc.
) Kharjahrin, in a meeting to commemorate the death anniversary of late Khasi Students’ Union leader, Bull N Lyngdoh at Malki said, “Whether the permission is given or not, we will complete the three days hunger strike and if they want to arrest, the HYC will choose to suffer in jail rather than see the future generation enslaved in our own land.”
He urged the HYC members to be peaceful and not engage in a tussle with police or the district administration. He asked the police department and the magistrate to coordinate with them to ensure a peaceful demonstration.
“We have nothing against the DC who we understand has succumbed to political pressure, or the SP or anybody else. But the HYC is against the indifferent attitude of the legislators to implement the demands of the organisation,” he said.
Peeved that they were not allowed to hold their demonstration for three days due to the commencement of Assembly session, he said, “Will democratic rights of the people be suspended because of the Assembly session? This is something we can’t accept.”
He even pointed out that even when Parliament is in session, many organisations stage protest at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi.
Calling Sangma a “dictator”, he said that the clear message to him is, “Mukul Sangma may perish from this earth but remember Mukul Sangma, government by the people, for the people and of the people will never perish from this earth.”
He asserted that their fundamental rights would be suppressed if they are not allowed to continue with their hunger strike.
They were informed by the district administration that they can hold the hunger strike till 4 pm on Thursday and cannot hold the same on Friday due to the commencement of the Assembly session. They can resume their stir on Saturday.