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Monday, June 24, 2024

Pala seeks exemption for Meghalaya

In the letter to Modi, Pala said this exemption would symbolise the former’s commitment to protecting the diverse cultural fabric of the nation and upholding the rights and customs of the tribal communities who have played an integral role in shaping the social and historical tapestry of India.

SHILLONG:

 

Congress MP from Shillong Vincent H Pala has written to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, requesting his intervention to exempt Meghalaya and other states under the Sixth Schedule area from the purview of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

In the letter to Modi, Pala said this exemption would symbolise the former’s commitment to protecting the diverse cultural fabric of the nation and upholding the rights and customs of the tribal communities who have played an integral role in shaping the social and historical tapestry of India.

“I wholeheartedly trust that you will accord due consideration to this urgent request, while taking into account the sentiments and aspirations of the people affected by the proposed UCC,” he added.

The state Congress chief also requested Modi to affirm his government’s commitment to upholding the rights and customs of the tribal communities by ensuring that the UCC will not have any adverse impact on their cherished traditions and way of life and said, “It is imperative to acknowledge and respect the rich diversity and culture of the tribal communities, which form an integral part of our nation’s heritage.”

He said as per Sixth Schedule, special provisions have been granted to certain tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. These provisions are designed to safeguard the unique identity and autonomy of the tribal communities residing in these regions, the letter stated.

He said it is paramount to ensure that the UCC does not apply to these states without the explicit consent and ratification of their respective state legislatures.

The letter further said that any imposition of the UCC on these communities would not only undermine their rights but also disrupt the social fabric that has been woven over generations.

Pala also highlighted the importance of consulting and seeking views of tribals from other states before enacting any law stating that their perspective and concerns need to be genuinely taken into account, as they are the ones who will be directly affected by the implementation of the UCC.

Such inclusive deliberations, Pala said, would enable the government to make informed decisions that are aligned with the interests and aspirations of the tribal communities across the country.

The MP also asked the Centre to acknowledge the strong opposition that UCC has encountered, especially in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland where a substantial percentage of the population consists of Christians.

“The apprehensions and fears of erosion of identity and autonomy among these communities cannot be overlooked. It is incumbent upon us to address their concerns and reassure them that their cultural heritage will be safeguarded and respected,” he said.

Pala not opposed to railway in EJH

 

Congress chief Vincent H Pala has said he is not against the government’s move to bring railway line to Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills district.

“I personally have no problem with railway (coming to the region),” Pala said.

The Shillong MP said nobody could stop people from coming to the state adding “(They are coming) by bus, by flight, by trucks…”

On NGOs strongly opposing the proposed railway projects citing that it was a tool of massive influx, Pala however said, “I don’t think that is true because they can come by trucks, by bus.”

He maintained that influx can be stopped at the village level and not by putting check gates on the roadside and said, “If the villagers, headmen and everybody cooperate then I think there should not be a problem (to deal with influx issue).”

“I don’t want to impose on others if others think like that but I personally have no problem with railway,” Pala added.

Whether the government should implement the inner line permit (ILP) to allay the fears of influx through railway, the Congress leader however said the BJP has been very clear that Meghalaya has to choose between Sixth Schedule and ILP.

“Last time when we met them (BJP), they were very clear, the Governor was very clear (on their stand on ILP) that is why I don’t want to unnecessary poke that give ILP as they may take Sixth Schedule away. I don’t know what they want because we cannot compare Meghalaya with other states, Meghalaya is different, if they give ILP, Sixth Schedule we have no problem but in future if they say choose one I will choose Sixth Schedule,” Pala stated.

On July 6, chief minister Conrad K Sangma had informed that a study was being conducted on the possibility to bring railway line to Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills District.

 

Pala for CBI probe into illegal mining, operation of illegal coke oven plants

 

  Vincent H Pala has batted for instituting a Central Bureau of Investigaton (CBI) probe into illegal mining and transport of coal and operation of illegal coke oven plants.

His views come in the wake of the Meghalaya High Court recently hinting at the need for a CBI inquiry into such illegal activities.

“It is high time they (court) should institute a CBI probe into the matter, however, I don’t know whether the court will do it,” Pala said.

He also questioned the source of coal used by the illegal coke oven plants in the state.

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