SHILLONG, June 01: Former KHADC CEM Adelbert Nongrum and five of his supporters on Monday suspended their indefinite hunger strike.
Speaking to newsmen at the protest venue, Nongrum said, “This hunger strike which lasted for 17 days in protest against the government’s adamant stand on the VAB has come to an end today because the KHADC in its special session convened on Saturday passed the modified VAB.”
“We had lots of hope and belief when the PDF, which was in the opposition during that time in KHADC, also demanded the State government to approve the origil VAB. They (PDF) had also said that we should stand united on the origil VAB. But when it took over the executive committee of the council, it did a U-turn, betraying the indigenous people,” said Nongrum.
Nongrum and his supporters also vowed to travel across Khasi and Jaintia Hills to make people aware about the differences in the origil and modified VAB.
Soon after breaking his indefinite hunger strike on Monday evening, the former KHADC chief met
Meghalaya Governor V Shanmugathan and urged him to retain the clauses deleted from the KHADC (Village Administration) Bill, 2015. Speaking to reporters after meeting the Governor, Nongrum said, “We have requested the Governor to re-instate and include the two clauses-Section 5 Para VIII and XVI which was deleted from the origil bill”.
The former KHADC chief said the modified VAB is not strong enough to protect the indigenous people.
Urging ARPA to take charge and to lead the way in order to make the people understand the issue, Nongrum said, “If time demands, we will again go a hunger strike”.
“Too many people have been misled and it is the duty of the ARPA to make the people understand the issue,” Nongrum said.