TURA:

A delegation of leaders from the Garoland State Movement Committee that is spearheading the demand for separation of Garo Hills from Meghalaya to become a state called on Union Health Minister Amit Shah at the BSF Station Headquarters in Dobasipara, Tura on Friday morning where they submitted a memorandum citing the reasons for the  need to give the garos their own separate state identity.

Led by GSMC co-chairman Balkarin Ch. Marak, Jakrak A. Sangma, Co-Chairman,  Ryan Ch. Marak, Spokesperson, Jason Tekrang M. Sangma, Organising  Secretary, Tony Balsam Ch. Marak, Publicity Secretary, Tony Tojrang B. Marak, Office Secretary and Prensing M. Sangma, Executive Member, mentioned to Shah the decades long fight by the Garos to have their own identity with a state.

Their memorandum mentioned the fight for Garo identity from the time of the famous garo freedom fighter and patriot Late Sonaram R. Sangma who spearheaded the movement for a free Garoland as way back as the year 1899 during the era of the British Raj in India.

“He was  the first person to fight with a tool of Non Cooperation  Movement amongst the Garos as well as India. He filed cases at Calcutta(Kolkata)High Court against the British for dominating Garos’ land. After him another leader Late Mody K. Marak and  Late Emonsing M. Sangma in the name of  conglomeration body known as  Garo National Conference (GNC) had submitted  memorandum to the British to include Garo speaking people of Assam to be in the part of Garo Autonomous Council (GAC) but they failed to understand the sentiments of the Garo people and excluded  Autonomous areas in 1946,” stated the GSMC in their memo to Shah.

The fight for Garoland State in a political way was carried forward by then GNC leader Late Clifford R. Marak who raised the Garoland State issues in the Assembly Session in the year 1992 till 2014.

They also mentioned the armed struggle taken up for Garoland demanded by A.chik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) and other militant organizations in Garo Region from 1995 to 2005.

“Since the formation of GSMC in the year 2012, mobilizing for Garoland State in the entire Garo Region has not diminished till the present year 2023 and shall go on till the demand is expedited. Garo people have Garo language which gives protection,Article 29 in the Indian Constitution. Moreover Garo people should be given a state based on linguistics just like Gujarati speaking people got Gujarat State from Maharashtra State likewise Garo speaking people should get Garoland State,” justified the GSMC to Shah.

Pointing to the  vast area of the northeast and Bangladesh where Garos continue to reside, the GSMC lamented that Garos continue to be deprived in all spheres of life and development despite Meghaslaya having celebrated 51 years of statehood, this year.

Later, speaking to The Meghalayan the GSMC leaders said that Shah had assured them to look into their demands.

They further added that Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was present in Tura with Amit Shah, told the delegation that they would sit and meet for discussions of the statehood issue after the conclusion of elections.