Shillong, June 21: Pressure groups – Federation of Khasi Jaiñtia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynñiewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF) – on Wednesday organised a sit in protest to pressurize the State government to put railway project on hold.
The sit in protest was held at a Parking Lot near Additional Secretariat, where activists of the Confederation of Ri Bhoi People (CoRP) and other organisations also joined the protest.
They demanded from the State government to put on hold railway project till a strong mechanism is in place to check influx. They also supported the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), that protested against the construction of the Tetelia-Byrnihat railway line, in Ri Bhoi district.
There is a proposal to also extend the railway line from Byrnihat to Shillong.
Later, representatives of the groups held discussion with Meghalaya Home Minister, H.D.R Lyngdoh in the main secretariat who assured to take the demands of the groups to Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma.
Speaking to reporters, FKJGP president, Wellbirth Rani said that railway projects should be put on hold till the State government could come up with a strong mechanism to check influx in the state.
The groups also questioned the state government for delaying the implementation of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 to verify tenants in the state.
“The government has not been able to implement the Act till today since rules to implement the act has not been framed,” Rani said.
The groups also demanded from the Home Minister to stop hunting down KSU members, adding that the government should call all groups including the KSU for talks. A number of KSU leaders and members were arrested by police after they protested against the construction of railway line at Ronghona under Byrnihat Police Outpost in Ri Bhoi district last month.
HYNF leader, Sadon K. Blah said that talks on introduction of railway should start only after the government put in place comprehensive mechanisms to check influx.