Garos threaten massive agitation for ‘Garoland’
Tura (Meghalaya), Nov. 15 (IANS): The Garo Hills State Movement Committee (GHSMC) on Wednesday threatened to launch a “massive democratic agitation” to put pressure on the central and state governments to set up a Garoland, to be carved out of Garo areas in Assam and Meghalaya.
The GHSMC — a conglomeration of several Garo organisations including the Garo National Council (GNC), a regional political party — said their demand was on the linguistic lines of the States Reorganisations Act, 1956.
“The demand for creation of Garoland has been a long-standing demand of the Garo people. We will continue to go to the people and explain to them on the need of a separate state,” GHSMC Chairman Nikman Marak told IANS on the sidelines of a public rally seeking Garoland.
Over a thousand people from the five districts of Garo Hills attended the “Mega Garoland Rally”.
“If the state government is willing, they can take up the issue with the Centre and help us to achieve our goal of a Garoland state. We will not sit idle and will launch a massive democratic agitation to press the government to create a separate Garoland,” Marak said.
On August, the GSHMC had submitted a memorandum to President Ramnath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and others to demand the creation of a Garoland.
Meghalaya became an autonomous state in 1971 and a full-fledged state in 1972.
The GNC, one of the oldest regional political parties, has been demanding creation of Garoland for over two decades.
However, it does not have any representatives in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly. It has three members in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council.
On March 18, 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.