Pressure groups call for a 3-day bandh in Garo Hills

Meghalaya, April 9: Opposing the participation of non-tribal in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) elections, pressure groups have called for a three-day bandh across the Garo Hills region.

Organizations like Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE) and A’chik Youth Welfare Organization (AYWO) have called for a 3-day bandh starting from 9 am on April 10 till 5 am of April 13.

Speaking with the media, GSU president Tengsak Gabil Momin said their voices were not heard when they had opposed it, hence they have now chosen to call for a bandh. Momin questioned why non-tribal people were taking part in the Council Elections.

It must be pointed out that of the 29 seats in the GHADC, many seats, especially in the plains, have a sizeable non-tribal population. In regions like Shyamnagar, Balachanda and Mahendraganj, experts believe that there are only a few thousand Garo voters while others are non-tribal voters.

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Meanwhile, in light of the bandh call, the District Magistrate of South West Garo Hills, Ramakrishna Chitturi, imposed Section 144 of CrPC ahead of GHADC polls.

To ensure the maintenance of law and order, assembly and holding public meeting has been prohibited for 48 hours starting 4 pm on April 10. The order will cease after the conclusion of casting votes.

The areas covered by the order with immediate effect are 11-Boldamgre, 12-Nogorpara, 13-Zikzak and 14-Betasing constituency from 4 pm on April 10 until further orders.