Four pressure groups have rejected allegations that there is a concerted effort to persecute the non-tribal Hindu community in Meghalaya and have attacked the credibility of three people who made such claims in a meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik last week.
In a joint statement today, the KSU, FKJGP, Ri-Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF) and Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) said that the trio – Prantush Sarkar, Mridul Das and Binayak Roy – who had met with the Governor on October 15 had “painted the state of Meghalaya in a very bad communal shade.”
The three are themselves engaged in the limestone trade with “habitual Benami transactions”, the statement said, adding that this would make them “allergic” to trading licences, which they claimed in their representation to the Governor that Hindus are being denied.
The NGOs also rejected the accusation that non-tribals are harassed and denied when applying for voter ID cards, birth certificates and the like, saying that these are issued by the government without discrimination to all those who can prove their Indian citizenship.
“These Hindu fanatics (Sarkar, Das and Roy) are tarnishing the image of various Christian sects in the state by their statement that the entire state machinery is Christianised and organised to perpetuate communal discrimination against Hindus of the state,” the statement said.
The pressure groups added that they have “never been communal in our thought and actions”, rather they seek to preserve and protect the rights of the tribals of the state.
“We try not to identify religion as a point of conflict, but our concerns are issues relating to identity, which we feel are sanctioned in our social, economic and political rights as indigenous people of the state,” they added.
The groups concluded by calling for legal action taken against the trio “before the matter goes out of hand.”
It may be mentioned that a representation was submitted on October 15 seeking the intervention of the Governor, Satya Pal Malik into the alleged atrocities by the NGOs and the district council against non-tribal residing in Ichamati and Bholaganj areas in East Khasi Hills District.
The representation submitted by three persons namely Prantush Sarkar, Mridul Das and Binayak Roy, alleged that there has been tremendous efforts made by the state machinery to stop the Hindu population from earning their livelihood so that they become bound to leave the state.
It said that the state machinery in connivance with various NGOs like KSU, FKJGP, HYC etc along with the help of district councils and police are ensuring that the shops and other establishment of such Hindu communities are shut down in the name of trading licence and NOCs from various local institutions.