Shillong: The northeast bandh called by the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) impacted daily life in Meghalaya in general and Shillong in particular.
The 11-hour Northeast bandh was called to protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. In Meghalaya the bandh was supported by KSU and GSU - constituents of the NESO. Tyres were burnt on roads at various places in Meghalaya to prevent movement of vehicles. There were at least two reported cases of vehicles being damaged one in Mawprem locality of Shillong and the other at Najing Bazar in Tura town, police said.
Police detained three members of the KSU Malki Circle at 9:30 am today from the locality but were later released in the evening. Shops and business establishments in Khliehriat, the headquarters of East Jaintia Hills district were shut during the bandh hours. Similar was the situation in West Khasi Hils district. Meanwhile, the general secretary of the KSU, Donald V Thabah said that the success of the bandh called by the NESO in the region proves that people of the northeast support the cause which is to protect the identity of the indigenous communities of the people of the region.
“We don’t want the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” Thabah said.
Meanwhile, the NESO has thanked the people of the region for making the northeast bandh a success.
“In spite of the wide protest in North East, the Government of India passed this Bill in the Lok Sabha which only show that the Government of India has no regard for the Indigenous peoples of the North East but rather this move is intentionally done to reduce the Indigenous Peoples of the North East to a Minority in our own land,” NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa said.
The organisation also condemned the firing on unarmed tribal protestors by the Tripura police.
“It is evident from this incident that the indigenous communities of Tripura are not only marginalised but also oppressed and suppressed by the Government of Tripura headed by non-indigenous Tripuris,” the NESO said.
It also said that the NESO will not be quiet but we will keep on following up on the issue and will take appropriate decisions to protect the distinct identity and future generations of the region.