Ampareen calls for inclusion of Article 371 J to protect tribals of Meghalaya

SHILLONG, Sep 11: The Meghalaya Assembly during the Autumn session on Wednesday has called for the enactment of special provisions in the state after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir.

Initiating the debate on the resolution Congress MLA from East Shillong, Amapreen Lyngdoh called for the inclusion of Meghalaya under Article 371 J of the Constitution of India.

Lyngdoh pointed out that in recent times one has seen that the Sixth Schedule has been compromise.

“Para 12 AB could be defended in recent time and Article 244 (2) of the Sixth Schedule was set aside,” she said.

She also pointed out that Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 is a threat to our customary rights and practices especially the Sixth Schedule.

“Our customary are being brushed aside and compromised,” the East Shillong MLA said.

Therefore, Lyngdoh said that a time has come that the tribals of the state need to create space for themselves.

“The question is that can IOA or AA as a defence for the people of Meghalaya,” she added.

Congress legislator from Umroi, George B Lyngdoh said that the sudden abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir stands witness of how rights of the state and its can be trampled upon without consultations.

Lyngdoh also warned that laws like the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Anti-Conversion Bill, Uniform Civil Code if become laws they will permanently alter the socio-religius practices of the tribal population.

“In the absence of any provisions to safeguard the people of the state we need to go back to the provisions of the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement,” Lyngdoh said.

Leader of opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma hit out at the central government for being ignorant of the diversity of the country.

He also pointed out that the centre was trying to impose it will more on the states now more than ever before.

“What we are seeing now is that the view of the state has become immaterial,” the leader of opposition said.

District Council Affairs Minister, James Sangma while reply to the resolution said that Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit during the last term of the state assembly had brought the issue of Article 371 but it was the then Congress government that defeated it in the House.

Sangma while reminding the opposition Congress of the above asked what is Dr Mukul Sangma’s stand on the issue.

“He is a senior member of the House but speaks in a double forked manner,” James Sangma said.

He also said that the debate on the federal structure of the country has been going on forever and this is nothing new like it happened only in 2019 for which to have unnecessary paranoia.

Now Union Ministers are coming to the region and seeing things first hand it will be a game changer.

“Therefore it is wrong to say that the federal structure is in jeopardy. Now we see more interactions,” The district council affairs minister said.

Later, the resolution was put to vote but was defeated.

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