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A conglomeration of NGOs from Garo Hills, on Saturday, held a meeting to protest the delay concerning the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) and the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA).
They held the meeting in front of the Tura MP stadium (PA Sangma Stadium).
The meeting also sought the repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and demanded the passing of the Garo Customary Law (GCL) Bill.
The protest comes amidst a call by North East organisations that have been demanding the repeal of the CAA.
The NGOs further demanded the inclusion of the Garo language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution and the exclusion of all non-tribals from the electoral roll of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) elections, expected to be held later next year.
The protesting NGOs comprised the Garo Students’ Union (GSU), the Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), the Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE) and the A’chik Youth Welfare Organization (AYWO).
The NGO members also burnt effigies of the CAA and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) alliance in protest against the policies of the Central Government, who they blame for attempting to marginalise the people of the northeast.
The NGOs also criticised the state government over the delay in implementing the ILP and passing the MRSSA Bill into an Act.
“We are serious about the demands we are making, and the state and Central Governments should pay heed to the demands of the people of the country and the northeast states. The CAA will destroy the fabric of our society in the northeast and overwhelm our population. The only way to protect ourselves is for the centre to repeal the CAA and implement ILP and MRSSA within the state. We will not rest otherwise,” Garo Hills region FKJGP president Pritam Marak said.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)