Shillong, Sep 19: The Meghalaya Indigenous Minority Tribals Forum (MIMTF), Garo Hills, in its extraordinary meeting held recently discussed the memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi by a cabinet delegation led by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
In a statement, KC Boro, the spokesperson of the association, said that the memorandum that was submitted to the prime minister is on the long pending demand for implementation of ILP in the state including other important issues like boundary dispute with Assam.
The Meghalaya Indigenous Minority Tribals Forum is not opposed to the implementation of Inner Line Permit in the state and also to other important issues raised / proposed by the government. It welcomes the government’s decisions / proposals, it said.
“But, the MIMTF is shocked to know that the state government is strongly opposed to the nomination of unrepresented tribals to the autonomous district councils through the memorandum in question the last line of which reads – after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, the state government opted against the nomination of un-represented tribes to the ADCs. The MIMTF expresses its grave resentment over the same. It feels, it is unfortunate and undesirable which is against the interest of the backward minority tribes of the state such as – Hajongs, Koches, Rabhas, Boro-Kacharies and Manns who are the indigenous tribes and the sons of the soil”, Boro said.
He pointed out that the matter was already discussed in January 2020 with the state government and all concerned stakeholders / various NGOs including MIMTF by the Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by Anand Sharma,. “But this is really surprising that the matter has been re-opened again by such fresh demand from the state government itself”, Boro added.
The chief minister of a state belongs to all irrespective of caste, creed and religion. And the state government is always expected to protect the interest of all the citizens of the state as far as possible and practicable, Boro said.
It is the duty and responsibility of the government to uplift the backward sections of the people / communities of the state and give equal justice to them, Boro said adding that quite contrary to it, in this case, the chief minister himself, not any NGO or Individuals, led the delegation to the prime minister while opposing the nomination of unrepresented tribes to the district councils.
“It is really unfortunate which is beyond expectation and the MIMTF, are at a loss as to where to go and whom to approach for justice in the matter”, the former MLA said.
Under these circumstances, the MIMTF has urged the chief minister to review the decision and opt in favour of the nomination proposed and recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in the greater interest to the indigenous tribal communities i.e., – Hajong, Koch, Rabha, Boro-Kachari and Mann, and also for such other tribes in the state, who are still very backward politically even after 51 years of statehood.
In this connection, since last 2008 there has been zero representation in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly from the minority tribes (no MLA) and only 2 MDCs in GHADC at present which clearly speaks about their political backwardness
“If considered, it will be a great help to these backward communities as well as justice to them. And, for which the MIMTF in particular and the entire five communities mentioned in general shall remain ever grateful to the chief minister and to his government”, Boro added.