GOALPARA: At least 40 organizations of Goalpara district will stage symbolic protest on Monday against the alleged entry restrictions imposed by the Meghalaya government for the traders of Assam and through the Garo hills.
The All Assam Students' Union (AASU), All Assam Minority Students' Union (AAMSU), All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU), Bengali Yuva Satra Federation, Dudhnoi Taxi Association, Daranggiri Bebosayi Santa, Damra Bozar Unnayan Samiti, Hatowa Santha, Krishnai Motor Shramik Santha, labour union, Khusura Bebosayi Santha and other organizations have decided to form a human chain in front of the DC's office of Goalpara district to demand that the restrictions should be lifted.
Animul Hoque Choudhury, president of Goalpara district AAMSU, said, "There were thousands of people doing small business in the Garo hills of Meghalaya prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. During the pandemic, these people had left Meghalaya at the request of the local administration and staying as unemployed people in Assam. But as the impact of the pandemic has reduced, the small traders want to return to resume their business."
Animul further said, "However, the Meghalaya government has not allowed the traders and passenger buses from Assam to enter the State. This has created a panic situation as thousands of people may lose their livelihood. We are regularly protesting against this and have submitted several memoranda. But the situation remains the same. Hence we are going for democratic protest."
On the other hand, the Goriya Moriya Deshi Jatiya Parishad on Saturday submitted a memorandum to the executive magistrate of North Garo Hills. Faruk Ali, president, and Rizwan-ul-Islam, secretary of the Goalpara district committee, requested the administration to withdraw the restrictions.
Meanwhile, different organizations have expressed their surprise at the alleged indifference and reluctance shown by the Assam Government in the issue. A letter written by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the States on August 22 stated that 'there should be no restrictions imposed on inter-State and intra-State movements of persons and goods and services during the present prevailing Unlock-3 guidelines'.
The letter has further warned that 'such restrictions at local level imposed by district administration or by States amount to violation of the guidelines issued by the MHA under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005'.