Shillong: Shillong city came to a standstill after hundreds came out to participate in a public rally led by Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) on Friday.
Angry with the government over lack of employment opportunities in Meghalaya, hundreds of members of the FKJGP, joined by other NGOs, including the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), the Ri Bhoi Youth Front (RBYF) and the Hynñiewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), marched through the streets of Shillong on Friday afternoon, raising their banners and chanting slogans.
Hundreds of youths marched from Motphran to the Fire Brigade Ground (Madan Iewrynghep) as part of the rally, their stated gripe being that “no positive steps have been initiated by the government to increase employment for the youths”.
The protestors demanded the state government to come up with a policy to safeguard the future of the youths of Meghalaya.
Loud slogans echoed the streets of Shillong even as the protest took an unfortunate turn when police vehicles were vandalized and violence ensued amid flaring tensions. Some protestors reportedly went on a rampage to attack passersby and a non-tribal tempo driver.
Even as leaders of FKJGP tried to calm the protestors against beating up people, all the shutters were down as soon as the rally started from Motphran at 11 am. Shillong traffic came to a complete standstill after protesters vandalised a police vehicle along with few motorbikes.
“Police have been directed to take strict action against the perpetrators of violence. A show cause notice has also been issued to the organisers (FKJGP) for violating the conditions of today’s rally,” East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Isawanda Laloo said.
Following the public rally, the protestors gathered at madan Iewrynghep and held a public meeting to discuss at length the issues that the people of Meghalaya are facing.
FKJGP president Dundee Khongsit told EastMojo that the government was not doing enough to provide jobs to the youths and, according to their research, there were over one lakh unemployed youths in Meghalaya.
“The government cannot wash their hands and blame the vacant posts are due to the roster system that is being implemented,” Khongsit added.
JSU president Treibor Raul Suchen said that it was due to lack of jobs in Meghalaya that most of the youths were involved in drugs or other anti social activities. He added that this rally was a much needed one since the government had not shown any sincerity in resolving the issue.
Khongsit, along with the leaders from other organisations ,apologised to the media after two journalists were hit during violence at the rally.
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