BJP MLAs sign resolution empowering non-tribals in Meghalaya
Meghalaya BJP members (file photo)

Shillong: The BJP in Meghalaya was left red-faced after the party’s legislators AL Hek and Sanbor Shullai – were found to have violated the traditional dorbar system to favour trading by non-tribals, drawing criticism from social organisations in this hill state.

Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council chief executive member Pyniaid Syiem told PTI, “We have seen it in paper that a resolution was signed by the two legislators Hek and Shullai. This is strongly against the rule of the Elaka Administration Act of the council.”

Hek, one of the two MLAs, is a cabinet minister in the present Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government backed by the BJP.

The two BJP MLAs were found to have signed a resolution granting the president of the then Refugee Rehabilitation Colony Welfare Committee in Rynjah area of the city to issue NOC to non-tribals to trade and provide residential certificates for all purposes.

The RR Colony is a settlement of about 250 homes that was built for those who fled Bangladesh in the 1971 war, mostly Hindu families.

According to the tribal council CEM, such resolution violates the authority granted to the traditional dorbars by the council since the area is under the jurisdiction of the Dorbar Shnong of Rynjah, which is duly recognized by the council.

Several organisations have accused the BJP of trying to meddle with the traditions of the tribal people in the state.

The Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People feels that the MLAs should refrain from making such callous and irresponsible acts which devalues the role of our traditional bodies.

The FKJGP also issued a strong warning against the RRWC to stop meddling with affairs related to issuing of NOCs or RCs to the people of the area.

“The RRWS should instead act in accordance with the notification of the Hima Mylliem in 2019 which declared the colony as Them Rynjah or else the federation will be forced to tread a different path in order to safeguard our culture and tradition,” the FKJGP said.

The KHADC chief also reiterated that while the council had no intention to interfere with the religious rights as a welfare society, he added that, “As administration is concerned, we will ensure that residents of the area should follow the rules of the land. This is Khasi Hills and not Bangladesh or West Bengal and the 2019 notification stands till today,” Syiem said.

Meanwhile, when sought clarification, Hek feigned ignorance on the subject.

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“The question of helping non-tribals only does not arise at all. We are here to help all the people in the state,” he said.

“There is no question of violating the traditions or the council. We help everybody who needed our help. This is the responsibility of the leaders and the BJP,” he added.

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