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Meghalaya: Pressure groups defy prohibitory orders, protest in front of State Secretariat

Following last Friday's unprovoked violence during the unemployment rally in the state capital, the district magistrate of East Khasi Hills promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC

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Shillong: Defying the prohibitory orders, activists of five pressure groups under the banner of the ‘Save Hynniewtrep Mission’ on Tuesday took out a protest march to the Meghalaya Secretariat demanding the immediate implementation of the nine-point charter of demands.

Following last Friday unprovoked violence during the unemployment rally in the state capital, the district magistrate of East Khasi Hills, Isawanda Laloo on Monday night promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC to prevent any untoward incident in the city.

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Activists of the five pressure groups – Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), East Jaintia National Council Jaintia Students Movement, Hynniewtrep Achik National Movement and Confederation of Ri Bhoi People – however hoodwinked the state police and rallied in front of the Meghalaya secretariat and raised slogans and dispersed after hours without any violence.

For hours, the protestors at the two different points stayed put and raised slogans against the NPP-led government while the police together with the paramilitary force were stationed to thwart any unpleasant incident like Friday’s FKJGP rally in which several people were assaulted and vehicles damaged.

“No arrest has been made,” a visibly-upset Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills district, Isawanda Laloo said when reporters asked if the arrest was made for violating the order of the district administration prohibiting rallies through the imposition of section 144 CrPC.

Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui invited the leaders of the five pressure groups for a discussion on their charter of demands.

Some of their demands include the implementation of Inner Line Permit, review of the MoU signed under the first phase of border talks with Assam, resolving of the unemployment problem, recognition of the Khasi language under the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, relocation of inhabitants from the Harijan Colony among others.

Emerging out of the meeting, the group leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of the meeting with the Home Minister. 

“We are not happy and he (Rymbui) told us that he cannot not take any decision on their demands as they are related with the political department, which is not under his jurisdiction,” HYC leader, Roy Kupar Synrem said.

Meanwhile, the HYC leader further alerted the state government and the district administration to be prepared for more and more surprise agitations. 

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