Militant threat on first-ever Meghalaya municipal polls
Shillong: Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), the banned Khasi militant outfit, on Sunday warned the people of `dire consequences` if they participated in the proposed municipal elections.
HNLC was against the holding of the municipal polls because of the "excessive interference by non-indigenous people" in the affairs of the indigenous people, An e-mail issued by HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said.
The Meghalaya government has already announced that it would conduct the first-ever municipal elections in the three districts of Garo hills on September 30 despite opposition from several quarters.
Earlier, the Gauhati High Court had issued a notice to the government on a petition by Garo Students Union which challenged the municipal polls.
The union in its petition had contended that "following the 1992 amendment in the Constitution, panchayat and municipal provisions do not extend to the tribal areas which are under Sixth Schedule."
Ever since the Supreme Court issued the notification in 2000, there had been at least two attempts to hold the civic body election in the state, but the government could not go ahead on both occasions due to opposition from certain quarters on the ground that such an attempt would dilute the credibility of the traditional institutions in the State.
There had been no municipal election in the state since it attained the statehood and nominated administrators of the state government governs the municipal Boards.
After the Supreme Court had directed the state government to hold the municipal elections following a petition filed by the Non Tribal Youth Union, the government in November, 2000 had issued notifications for holding elections.
Only one person, a Shillong-based businessman, Ananta Dey, had filed nominations, but he was shot dead by suspected militants.
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