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Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council seeks support for social custom Bill, Shillong

A Reporter

SHILLONG, July 30: A delegation of MDCs of the Khasi Hills Democratic Alliance (KHDA) led by KHADC CEM SH Shylla on Monday met the District Council Affairs (DCA) Minister Prestone Tynsong and requested for the State Government’s intervention in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) (Second amendment) Bill, 2018 notified on July 24.

According to the Bill, “Any Khasi woman who marries a non-Khasi as well as her offspring(s) born out of such marriage(s) shall be deemed as non-Khasi who shall lose the Khasi status and all privileges and benefits as a member of the Khasi Tribe and cannot claim preferential privileges under any law.”
“We will convene a meeting of the people from both Khasi and Jaintia Hills region if there is any attempt to obstruct the passage of the Bill from becoming an Act,” KHADC chief Shylla told reporters here on Monday.

“He (Tynsong) has assured us that the State Government would study the Bill and we have requested him to consider speeding up the process for the Bill to get the assent of the Governor at the earliest,” he said. He said that the state government is also asked to point out the flaws if there is any, so that the district council can accordingly take corrective measures.

Asked what if there is a chance for the government to delay by sending this amendment Bill to the Centre for examination as was done in the case of the Village Administration Bill (VAB), Shylla said, “They cannot do that as this Bill deserve to get assent because it is for preserving and protecting the indigenous people.”

“We will also keep a check on traditional headmen. If they are found to be indulging in giving rampant residential certificates to doubtful citizens, we will take action to the extent of removing them as headmen,” he added.
Rubbishing the claims of those in opposition against the Bill terming it as a “grave injustice done to tribal women”, the KHADC chief said, “We have every right to protect the Khasi identity and the indigenous community. Nobody can stand in our way.”