The president of the Catholic Association of Khasi Jaintia Hills, S.L. Marbaniang, said besides the Christians, people from all religious groups, including Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, will take part in the peace rally led by the Catholic association.
According to Marbaniang, the violence against Christians is on the rise in Orissa. He said the association was preparing a memorandum to be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil.
The association urged chief minister Donkupar Roy to send a peace team to Orissa to assess the situation and offer a solution to end the unabated violence.
On August 29, the Catholic educational institutions in the state were closed in protest against the atrocities committed against Christians in Orissa. The Catholic churches in the state had also offered prayers on Sunday for the victims of communal clashes.
Several political parties in the state, such as the United Democratic Party, the state unit of the BJP and organisations like the Central Puja Committee and the Meghalaya Peoples Human Rights Council have expressed concern over the deteriorating law and order in Orissa.
KSU wants Northeast out of treaty
Shillong, Sept. 3: The Khasi Students Union (KSU) today urged the Centre to exempt Meghalaya and the rest of the Northeast from the purview of the 1950 Indo-Nepal treaty.
Taking exception to the frequent visits of central officials to Meghalaya only to discuss mining of uranium, KSU president Samuel Jyrwa today told The Telegraph that instead of taking up uranium mining which poses health hazards, the Centre should take up other important issues such as exemption of the Northeast from the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty, besides taking steps to check illegal migration from Bangladesh.
The students’ union also wants New Delhi to solve the long-pending inter-state and international border disputes.
According to the KSU, the influx of Nepali citizens to Meghalaya and the rest of the Northeast is a matter of concern as it is changing the demography of the region.
“Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda has suggested a review of the Indo-Nepal friendship treaty of 1950, but what we insist on is the exemption of the Northeast from the treaty,” Jyrwa said.
The KSU leaders have raised the issue during a recent meeting with Union cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrashekar in Shillong.
“We also discussed with him the need to adopt an effective mechansim to check largescale influx of migrants from Bangladesh,” Jyrwa said.
At the meeting, the KSU, however, made it clear to Chandrashekar and Anil Kakodkar, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, that it would not allow uranium mining in the state.
“There is no change in our stand on uranium mining and the same will be communicated to any central official visiting the state,” Jyrwa said.
New Delhi is rushing principal secretary to the Atomic Energy Commission, V.P. Raja, to Shillong on September 22 to convince the NGOs to agree to uranium mining.
Asked whether the students’ union will meet Raja, Jyrwa said: “We will see. We will meet first and discuss it among ourselves.”
According to the KSU, the Centre should also intervene to find a solution to the long-pending boundary dispute with Assam and the state’s border problem with Bangladesh.
Just before the February Assembly elections in the state , the East Khasi Hills district administration dropped the names of several Nepali citizens from the list of voters for elections.