Meghalaya: NGO Awaken India Movement attempts to stage protest, stopped by cops

Shillong: Members of NGO Awaken India Movement (AIM) in Shillong on Saturday joined the nationwide demonstration against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and lockdown and defend the fundamental rights of the people.

AIM members gathered at Motphran at 12 pm to carry out a peaceful demonstration. They had intended to march to GS Road via Police Bazar, Meghalaya Secretariat, IGP Point, Dhanketi, Laitumkhrah and finally to Madan Iewrynghep (Fire Brigade).

However, things did not go as planned as the AIM supporters were barred from gathering due to Union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state.

Awaken India Movement has called for demonstrations in multiple cities across India in solidarity with the world.

According to AIM member Banshai Marbaniang, the Meghalaya government has placed foreceful vaccination upon its people. “The state government cannot implement forced lockdown. Staying at home is like staying in jail. If the people get hungry, who is going to provide food to them? Will the government provide? All the government is doing is forcing people to take the vaccine and wear masks,” alleged Marbaniang.

He added that he was not against the state government but the idea to force people to take the vaccine, wear masks and to take the tests was what he was against.

Also read | Boundary row: Meghalaya-Assam CMs hold first official bilateral talks

Marbaniang added that the government’s move to make testing mandatory, if the person hasn’t taken the vaccine, is wrong.

Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) MLA Adelbert Nongrum also came out in support of AIM. “I have come to show my support not only as a representative of the people but as a concerned citizen. We have seen this place (Motphran) becoming a battlefield whenever there is any such agitation, so I wanted to avoid any untoward incident and have come out to support,” said Nongrum.

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