Tura, Apr 17: A conglomeration of NGOs of Tura which included the GSU, ADE, AYWO and FKJGP have demanded the immediate removal of Sofiur Rehman from the position of Chairman, Forest Advisory Committee for his anti Garo comments and acts.
The NGOs in a memorandum submitted to the CEM, Dipul Marak have asked for the ouster of Sofiur Rehman, the Balachanda and BJP MDC.
“This highly controversial and communal person has once again raised his ugly head, blatantly insulting the Garo people in a whimsical dare which is irritating and a slur on the GHADC,” said the NGOs in the memo.
“This person has repeatedly tried to belittle and flame a communal tone against the Garo people even to the extent of openly inciting hatred in social media while frequently mulling a combined non-tribal force against the Garos and tribals has been given a job to protect the forests of Garo Hills (land in a loose sense). The Autonomous District Council is meant for the uplift of the indigenous tribals and the acronym GHADC authenticates an appraisal of the same,” added the memo.
“We have been demanding for a separate electoral roll for the GHADC elections and the non-participation of non-tribals in the GHADC. The majority of the Garos have given moral support in the heat of the boycott of GHADC elections in 2015,” the memo added.
“In spite of all these demands the non-tribal MDC has been given the powers to accommodate the manipulative powers over the forests of Garo Hills,” it said.
The NGOs blamed the MDC for also being a part of the illegal timber trade.
“This is insane on many levels. This controversial, communal person has been hyper active towards illegal timber transportation and we believe he has gains to consider for his personal benefit by the very act of giving safe transport to illegal timber transporters,” alleged the NGOs.
“He openly interlopes the idea of fight against the Garos despite settling in Garo Hills. Now this person has been given the chairman post of the Forest Advisory Committee of GHADC. We are conveying the wishes of the people of Garo Hills and want him removed from the post immediately,” said the NGOs.
“Our meeting on the 13th April’18 at the office of the CEM, GHADC has been positive and we wish to see the follow up on the promises. We are serious on this matter and will be willing to proceed with agitations if our peaceful and courteous discussion does not bear fruit. We wish to see the fruition of our discussion immediately since this is a matter of prestige for the Garos,” demanded the NGOs.