FROM A REPORTER
SHILLONG, April 22: A Beef feast was organized by Members of the Thma U Rangli U Juki (TUR), Hynniewtrep tiol People’s Front (HNPF) and Khasi tiol Union (KNU) in protest against BJP president Amit Shah’s two-day visit to the State.
The feast was organized near the State BJP Office, Lachumiere on Wednesday.
The organizations had intended to organize the beef party in front of the State convention hall as a mark of protest against the BJP’s promotion of ban on beef, as well as the alleged atrocities perpetrated by the Sangh Parivar on minorities, but were stopped by security personnel.
Angela Rngad, one of the leaders of TUR, said, “We don’t like these ambassadors of hate coming to our town and the protest is to show that we are against their hate campaigns whether it is their Ghar Wapsi, or other policies like grabbing farmers’ land, or the ‘Make in India’ campaign which intends to make all of us slaves”.
“We are here to protest because Amit Shah symbolizes the BJP and all its anti-people policies which is something that we will not tolerate,” she said, adding that Shah’s visit to Meghalaya is not welcome, especially when he is known to be a person with crimil antecedents.
“Just because the party came to power - that too with just 32 per cent support of the population of the country - and just because they have dismissed or slowed down the investigation of the cases pending against them, does not mean that he (Shah) is not a crimil,” she said.
When asked about the beef ban by some BJP ruled states, Rngad said, “It is a party that actually attacks the rights of people especially when they are minorities. They have grabbed lands and have imposed a ban on the traditiol food culture and habits of the minorities.”
“They have been burning and vandalizing churches and mosques…it is a party that wants to push for a Hindu India. But we know India is a pluralist society where all people irrespective of their caste, creed or religion are accommodated,” said Rngad.
HNPF president R. Rani said: “We believe that a political party should only deal with political issues and not interfere with issues concerning religion. Politics of religion will divide the country which may lead to commul unrest”. Rani also questioned why these issues have come up only after the BJP was voted to power. “We suspect that this move is being instigated and we demand the BJP central leadership to respect all religious communities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the 12-hour bandh called by the HNLC also passed off peacefully. There was no untoward incident reported from anywhere. Government offices recorded 60 to 70 per cent attendance.