Fresh agitation announced in Meghalaya as talks fail

Shillong, April 26: The impasse between the Meghalaya government and the agitating social organisations on the issue of voter registration continued as talks remained inconclusive Thursday and the groups announced a fresh round of agitation.

Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh along with senior officials met leaders of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi-Jaintia & Garo People (FKJGP) and the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) at the state secretariat in a bid to end the deadlock.

After the meeting, Lyngdoh told journalists that government needed more time to examine the demands placed by the social organisations, and also appealed to them to suspend their agitation.

However, the leaders of the organisations later announced that another round of night road blockade will be observed in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region from Monday till Wednesday. The timing of the blockade would be from 7 p.m. till 5 a.m.

“We have been compelled to announce the fresh round of agitation since we are not happy with the outcome of the talks,” HNYF general secretary Sadon K. Blah said.

The first round of agitation started Wednesday with a night road blockade from 9 p.m. till 5 a.m. The same will continue Thursday night.

The demands of the organisations include suspension of enrolment of voters and closure of special counters for registering prospective voters in the deputy commissioners’ office.

The organisations have also alleged that numerous migrants have been enrolled in the voters’ list without a thorough verification of their antecedents.

However, the state government has been maintaining that the enrolment has been done as per the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India.