Five pressure groups today paid no heed to the promulgation of Section 144 of the CrPC by the East Khasi Hills district administration which prohibited such organisations from taking out rallies and processions in the state capital.
As part of the so-called ‘Save Hynñiewtrep Movement’, the pressure groups tried to march on the Secretariat but were halted at the IGP junction where they were corralled by police. The marchers ended up shouting slogans and condemning the state government over various issues.
Only a few pressure group leaders were let through to meet Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui, who assured them that he would pass on their message to the government.
The pressure groups demand the imposition of the Inner Line Permit (ILP), railed against casinos and other matters.
Addressing a gathering, the Hynñiewtrep Youths Council general secretary Roy Kupar Synrem justified ignoring the DC’s ban by saying that the Secretariat should be accessible to the public who want their elected representatives to hear their voices.
He maintained that it was Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong who said that pressure groups should not create havoc in the street but come and meet in the Secretariat.
“We have come here with this intention but, sadly, we were stopped by the magistrate and the police who told us that we need permission from the DC to meet the MLAs and the ministers, which is unacceptable in democracy,” Synrem said.
He said that the launch of the Save Hynñiewtrep Movement by the five pressure groups is just a beginning and such surprise agitations will be intensified in future.
If they cannot protest in front of the Secretariat, the HYC promised (or threatened) to follow the Chief Minister wherever he goes.
“Whether it is to conduct National People’s Party programmes or official ones, our members will remind the CM what he and his government have done on important issues,” Synrem said.