Demand for Garoland revived

Correspondent Shillong, Dec 5 | Publish Date: 12/5/2018 12:16:12 PM IST

The demand for creation of Garoland, to be carved out of Garo areas in western part of Meghalaya, reverberated in this mountainous state capital of Meghalaya on Wednesday.

The Garo Hills State Movement Committee (GHSMC) — a conglomeration of several Garo organisations, including the Garo National Council (GNC), a regional political party – held a rally near the additional secretariat demanding Garoland State.

Several Garo leaders, including former Chairman of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army, Champion Sangma, who now lead A’chik Holistic Awakening Movement participated in the peaceful rally. 

“We have been fighting for Garoland for a very long time. Our Statehood demand is on the linguistic lines of the States Reorganisations Act, 1965 and the Government must concede our demand,” GSMC chairman, Nikman CH Marak said.

“If the Government can give Telangana for the Telugu-speaking people of that State, why can’t it create Garoland for the Garos. We (Garos) will not sit idle and will continue to strive forward till the Government creates a separate Garoland,” Marak added. The GSHMC said that the ruling National People’s Party in Meghalaya, had made the agenda of Garoland in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

 “We would pursue this matter to see that they don’t wipe this issue off and also to remind them that the former Lok Sabha Speaker and founder of the party, late Purno Sangma had raised this issue when he was alive,” Marak said.

Meanwhile, former GNLA chairman, Champion R Sangma voiced confidence that the demand for a separate Garo land will become a reality.

 “Late PA Sangma fought his last election on this very issue and unfortunately he left us. But fortunately now we have the son of late PA Sangma, Conrad K Sangma as the Chief Minister of the State. I think and believe that he would fulfill the demand for a separate Garoland. It will also depend on the wisdom of the Parliament. The demand for a separate Garoland is our birth and constitutional right. If the son of (late) PA Sangma cannot fulfill the dreams of his father then he does not deserve to be called his son,” Champion said..

On 18 March, 2014, the Meghalaya Assembly had rejected a resolution for the creation of a separate “Garoland” state in Garo Hills in the western part of the state.

Meghalaya became an autonomous state in 1971 and a full-fledged state in 1972.

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