Guwahati: Up to 27 organisations gathered for a sit-in protest in Silchar, alleging harassment of Non-Mizo businessmen by Mizoram-based NGOs.
The protest in front of Circuit House in Mizoram was regarding a warning issued to 91 non-Mizo businessmen to close their shops on May 15.
While the Young Mizo Association (YMA) has stood strong on their stance saying they only took action against illegal businesses, Silchar organisations alleged the Mizo people have often been hostile to ‘fellow plains people.’
The protest was held in front of Circuit House in Mizoram. After a meeting on May 27, 2023, the 27 organisations formed an umbrella organisation called Barak Valley Sangrami Oikkya Mancha.
As per the meeting resolution, they put forward a memorandum to the Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga, alleging hostile behaviour towards Non-Mizos in the state from the pre-Independence era.
They wrote, “The plains people of Barak Valley have deep respect and honour towards Mizo culture and language. We value the standing of the Mizo community as a leading, educated community in this country. But, unfortunately, it was seen that from the pre-independence era, there is a tendency of a section of Mizo people to display hostile behaviour towards fellow plains people, who used to stay in Mizoram for various purposes. For a considerable time, it became a routine affair occurring every year.”
Taking the names of apex NGOs such as the student body MZP (Mizo Zirlai Pawl) and YMA (Young Mizo Association), they said, “Recently similar atrocities by organisations like the YMA and the MZP towards plains traders created havoc, and almost 91 shops run by non-Mizos were forcefully closed by the said organisations. The proprietor and employees of these establishments had to flee from Mizoram and took shelter in Barak Valley.”
They requested the Chief Minister to “take immediate initiatives to ensure us that no such happenings occur in future as we genuinely want a permanent solution to this serious problem.”
Sadhan Purkayastha of Aamra Bangali organisation condemned the act, telling EastMojo, “The YMA and the MZP are NGOs, but they have no legal authority to shut down shops of non-Mizos, plain people. The government can do it if they identify illegal establishments of plain people. The government may take action. This is our view.”
Responding to the allegations, Central Young Mizo Association President R Lalngeta told EastMojo, “We do not differentiate against anybody. We only take action against those who have taken up business in illegal terms. There are many non-Mizo traders in the state; our problem is with illegal traders. We will continue to keep a vigilant eye on the people whom we have given a warning.”
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“These kinds of acts are against the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016,” he added.
“Benami transaction” means any transaction in which property is transferred to one person for a consideration paid or provided by another person.
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