SHILLONG, Dec 5: Hundreds of supporters for a separate Garoland held a rally in Shillong on Wednesday to press forward with their demand.
The rally was held at the Additional Secretariat Parking lot.
A total number of 30 NGOs including the newly formed A’chik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM) formed by former GNLA Chairman, Champion R Sangma from Garo Hills took party in the rally.
The rally was held under the aegis of the Garoland State Movement Committee (GSMC).
Speaking to media persons GSMC chairman, Nikman Marak said, “The backwardness of the Garo Hills, the underdevelopment has prompted us for to demand for a separate state.”
According to Marak, Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972, but though the Garos are living peacefully and mutually with the Khasi-Jaintia people but their language, tradition, custom, land holding system and even local governance are different.
“We are different from each other,” the GSMC chairman stated.
He said that the demand for a separate State for Garos was a very long standing demand and various political parties and social organisation had spearheaded the demand for a separate Garoland.
“But still the Government has not attended to our demand. Garoland State Movemement Committee was formed in 2012 to demand the creation of a separate Garoland in democratic way. The GSMC is committed to a non-violence movement,” Marak said.
The GSMC chairman also said that he hoped and believed that their long standing demand can only be solve through free and open dialogue and by way of negotiations.
“I request the Government of India and Meghalaya to initiate dialogue to fullfill this long pending demand for a separate Garoland,” Marak said.
He also said that the GSMC is yet to draw any map on the areas to fall under the Garoland.
“GSMC is yet to draw the map for the Garoland. We are waiting for the negotiations with the Government,” the GSMC chairman added.
Marak also stated that different stakeholders, political parties and NGOs will be part of the non-violence movement for a separate Garoland without any communal feelings.