KHNAM wants scrapping of railway project

Shillong, June 19: The Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) has demanded immediate scrapping of the proposed railway project in Ri Bhoi District.

“The state government should scrap the idea of bringing railway project. We demand that the government should first implement Inner Line Permit (ILP) system as well as a cut off year in the state before going ahead with such development proposal,” KHNAM general secretary, Batkupar Wahlang told reporters after the party’s CEC meeting held here on Monday.

According to Wahlang, ILP will regulate people from outside the state, and the cut off year of 1971 for non-indigenous people residing in the state.

“These two mechanisms will help check influx in our state,” Wahlang said.

Condemning chief minister Mukul Sangma for allegedly provoking anti-railway groups by announcing a proposal to have rail connectivity between Shillong and tourist destination, Sohra (Cherrapunjee), the KHNAM leader said, “It is unbecoming of a chief minister who tried to provoke instead of resolving the prevailing situation arising out of the protest against the railway head.”

The KHNAM also asked all ministers and MLAs to visit the nearest railway in Guwahati, Assam, which according to KHNAM leaders, it is plagued with beggars coming from across the country.

“This can be a threat to our indigenous community, and looking at Guwahati, we are sure that such beggars would without doubt reach Byrnihat and even Sohra,” Wahlang observed.

On the other hand, Wahlang asked the government to stop arresting activists of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) which is hell bent against proposed railway projects and instead initiate dialogue to end the present stalemate.

Meanwhile, the KHNAM also condemned the state government for proposing to institute an inquiry to probe into the alleged KSU-HNLC nexus.

“The same outfit has also made similar claim that even chief minister is seeking support to win the election in 2018. We feel, that the government should also probe into the alleged CM-HNLC nexus,” KHNAM president Pyndapbor Saibon said.

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