Pressure groups within Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills are among the many powerful organisations and individuals who are involved in Benami practices, the outlawed Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) said today.
“It is rather a sad state of affairs that the guardians of the jaitbynriew themselves are involved [in Benami],” HNLC General Secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a press release.
Nongtraw also slammed “corrupt government officers”, politicians, contractors, for allowing non-tribal business people to trade in Meghalaya using the names of tribals in order to evade income tax and other rules meant to protect the local indigenous people.
Without presenting any evidence, the banned militant group said that cement companies, coke factories and other industrial units all practise Benami. “Even petty businesses are being operated by non-tribal businessmen under tribal names,” it added.
Outsiders use local contractors to gain a foothold in Meghalaya, while others “use certain leaders of pressure groups to unleash the virus of Benami trade and threaten other businessmen,” Nongtraw claimed.
Legislation that has been passed to prevent Benami has been nothing more than toothless, he went on to say.