NGOs demands removal of Sofiur, give a week’s deadline to GHADC

Tura, June 8: Four NGOs of Garo Hills today marched to the office of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) demanding for the removal of the chairperson of Forests, Sofiur Rehman.

The NGOs comprising of the GSU, FKJGP, AYWO and ADE led a group of people to the GHADC and surrounded the office seeking the removal of a Non-Garo MDC Rehman from the post of Chairman of the Forest Advisory Committee.

Rehman had stirred up a hornet’s nest after some posts were attributed to him which berated the Garos and their society leading to a lot of anger against him within the people.

He however had denied the posts stating that his social media handle had been hacked. Rehman is the elected MDC of Balachanda.

The NGOs had earlier too demanded for his removal from the post of chairman after it became known to them that he was given the post and have also been against the appointment of any non indigenous person to the GHADC.

The organizations had a three point demand which they put forward to the CEM of GHADC, Dipul Marak, during the meeting.

They demanded the removal of the non-Garo MDC from the chairman position, cancellation of a TNT license given to a businessman (GLR Pharmaceuticals) as well as removal of the nokma who allegedly sold tribal land to outsiders in Boldamgre village and cancellation of the land pattas.

Earlier when Rehman got into his office in the Forest win, the office was surrounded by members of the agitating party who demanded his exit from the office. Though the situation was tense, the agitators refrained from getting physical. Police parties quickly rushed to the spot to ensure there was no further escalation in the situation.

“There was no physical altercation and we managed to secure the safety of the MDC. Our teams are also monitoring the situation,” said superintendent of police, Dr MGR Kumar.

The agitators later met the CEM to push their demands and have provided a week’s time to the CEM to act on their demands.

When contacted on the matter. The GHADC chief confirmed the discussion with the NGOs as well as their demands put forward. The NGOs had earlier too demanded the removal of Rehman though no action was initiated, according to them.

“They had earlier also opposed Rehman’s appointment. We have told them that we are going to take up this matter and take a decision within a week’s time. However we have to also bear in mind that Rehman is an elected member of the house,” said the CEM.

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