Pressure groups on Sunday demanded action against three persons for accusing the state government, district council and even the courts of religious persecution in the state.
The demand was made in a joint statement issued by the four NGOs – Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) and Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF).
This also came after a representation submitted by three individuals namely Prantush Sarkar, Mridul Das and Binayak Roy, to the Governor, Satya Pal Malik requesting his intervention into the alleged atrocities on the “Hindu” non-tribal residing at Ichamati and Bholaganj areas of East Khasi Hills District.
The trio alleged that the state machinery in connivance with various NGOs like the KSU, FKJGP, HYC etc along with the help of the district councils and police are ensuring that the shops and other establishment of Hindu communities are shut down in the name of trading license/NOCs from various local institutions.
“We demand that the government, the district councils, the police must take action against these Hindu fanatics before the matter goes out of hand,” the NGOs said.
Stating that the representation had painted the state in a very bad communal shade, the NGOs said the trio had cited that Hindus in Meghalaya are denied EPIC, pan card, birth certificate and all other related documents relating to Indian citizenship.
“This statement is tarnishing the image of the government of Meghalaya as a culprit of religious persecution which on the contrary all non tribals are availing themselves EPIC, birth certificate, ration card without any discrimination by government establishment and zero interference from NGOs if they can proof themselves as Indian citizens,” they said.
The NGOs further alleged that the authors of the representation to the Governor are themselves engaged in illegal benami transaction at Ichamati.
“The above mentioned persons are themselves engaged in limestone businesses in Ichamati with habitual benami transactions which incurred revenue loss to the state, such people are bound to be allergic to trading licenses and district councils which issue such licenses and they blame the NGOs as communal because we at times enforce the implementation of law ie the Regulation of Trade by non-tribal,” they said.
The NGOs also said these Hindu fanatics are tarnishing the image of various Christian sects in the state by their statement that the entire state machinery is Christianized and organized to perpetuate communal discrimination against Hindus of the state.
“They have also accused the police machinery to be in tandem in this religious persecution, which we demand that the police department must take stern action against these people,” they said.
The NGOs also urge the courts of Meghalaya to take action against the three persons for tarnishing the image of the judiciary.
“In point number 9 of their letter they have even accused the Courts in Meghalaya to be part of religious persecution along with district councils and police department which we feel the courts of Meghalaya must take appropriate steps for tarnishing the image of the judiciary,” they said.
Meanwhile, the NGOs maintained that they have never been communal in their thoughts and actions.
“Being a minuscule tribal in this country, we want to preserve, protect and promote our rights and interest and in pursuing our ideals we try not to identify religion as 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 stated.
The signatories of the joint statement include KSU president Lambokstar Marngar, FKJGP president Wellbirth Rani, HNYFgeneral secretary Sadon K Blah and RBYF president BP Thangkhiew.