Shillong: Local NGOs and civil society groups who had been waiting for months for a chance to meet with Union Home Minister Amit Shah were left disappointed when he gave them merely 45 seconds for the meeting.
The groups and NGOs included the Confederation of Social Organisation (CoMSO), Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), Ri-Bhoi Youth Front (RBYF), Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Achik Youth Welfare Organization (AYWO) and Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE).
While interacting with the media, CoMSO Chairman Robertjune Kharjahrin expressed dissatisfaction with the turn of events. He said, “We thought that we would be able to discuss the issues with the Union Home Minister but seems like his schedule changed. He did not have the time to discuss and we were able to submit only the memorandum.”
Kharjahrin added that the pressure groups were told that Shah wanted a detailed discussion, which would not have been possible in a span of five to ten minutes.
Jaintia Students’ Union (JSU) general secretary Treibor Suchen said that it was high time for pressure groups to take matters into their hands if the Central government continues with this step-motherly treatment towards Meghalaya.
“Union Home Minister visiting Shillong was nothing constructive at all since he didn’t utter a word or spare his valuable time to have a short discussion with the Cabinet ministers along with the civil society. He did not discuss the issues to safeguard the interest of the indigenous people of the state,” said Suchen.
Lambokstar Marngar, President, KSU, said that the meeting was disappointing since they did not get the chance to discuss major issues like the ILP.
Marngar said he felt like it was an insult to the government of Meghalaya and the people of the state. “Since the ILP Resolution was passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly which is already over a year, we had expected the Home Minister would send a message to the people of the state,” said Marngar.
He added that the union was confused with the outcome of the meeting.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma informed that the Union Home Minister had a tight schedule and could not stay back. Sangma added that the Union Home Minister had invited the Cabinet and the pressure groups to come to Delhi for a detailed discussion.
“The Union Home Minister agreed to meet the Cabinet and pressure groups in Delhi so we will soon seek an appointment. We can expect this meeting sometime around when the Parliament session starts,” informed Sangma.
The pressure groups would soon chart out their next course of action following their disappointing meeting with the Union Home Minister. The groups have also emphasised that their demand for ILP will continue.