To protest against the participation of non-tribals in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) – as voters and candidates – a rally was held through the joint efforts of pressure groups through Garo Hills.
The bike rally began on Monday in Rongjeng and proceeded to Williamnagar and Tura.
Today the rally reached the GHADC office here where speeches were made highlighting the role of the GHADC in being a vessel of the law, culture, heritage, language and identity of the Garo people.
Several pressure groups in the region have called for a boycott of the April 12 polls over the issue of non-tribal participation.
One person approached by Highland Post said it was inconceivable that non-Garos who are not familiar with the culture of the tribe can be elected to the GHADC, a body that legislates on tribal matters.
Meanwhile, effigies of Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, the previous GHADC Chief Executive Member, Dipul Marak, and GHADC Secretary, Rikse R Marak, were burned by council employees who have been up in arms over the non-payment of years’ worth of their salaries.
Non Gazetted Employees’ Association (NGEA) Secretary Brithen Sangma alleged that Dipul’s executive committee had misused all the taxes and funds of the GHADC which could have otherwise been used to pay the council’s staff.
“They have consumed for self-benefit without considering the grievances of the employees,” Brithen said. He also called for Rikse’s dismissal as, he said, she had originally only been appointed for six months but is still Secretary more than two years later.