Forum wants JHADC to move SC for exemption

Public meeting against MMDR Act

JOWAI: A public meeting was organised by the Jaintia Hills Amalgamated & Redressal Forum (JARF) to oppose the implementation of the MMDR Act in the state which will control mining activities.
The public meeting passed resolutions, including meeting with the JHADC chief and his team of executive members, to discuss the issue and to pressurise the Executive Committee (EC) to re-appeal to the Supreme Court for exemption of MMDR Act in the state.
“The JHADC has the right to re-appeal as Meghalaya is under the purview of the Sixth Schedule and also the United Khasi Jaintia Hills District (Application of Laws) Regulation,1952 is very clear that coal mining in the state is allowed without the MMDR Act,” said the Forum chairman, Helping Phawa.
The forum will also meet Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and will demand a proper mining policy so that people can do mining without the MMDR Act in order to uplift their livelihood.
Meanwhile, Phawa slammed the state government for busying itself in dealing with the 32 lakh metric tons of already extracted coal left for auction by the Coal India Limited while neglecting resumption of coal mining to help those who are directly or indirectly connected with it.
Former MLA and JHADC chief, Obil Kyndait, who also spoke on the occasion, rebuked the JHADC Executive Committee and its members for their failure to pay salaries to the council staff.
“It seems they are only looking up to the sky expecting something like manna to fall”, Kyndait said.
BJP leader and former JHADC chairman Lakhon Biam urged the people of Jaintia Hills to persuade their MDCs to pass a resolution in the house in connection with coal mining.
Social activist and senior Advocate Erwin K Syiem Sutnga called upon the people of Jaintia Hills to join the protest rally against amendment of the Sixth Schedule.
“The government of India has revoked Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir, what will happen if it decides to revoke article 371?” he asked.
Hundreds of people from across Jaintia Hills attended the public meeting braving rain.
Among others who spoke in the public meeting were Kermi Ksoo, legal adviser, KSU, JHDU president Ohibait Dkhar and Wapungskur headman Satly Ryngkhlem. A prominent resident of Jaintia Hills, ER Ryngkhlem administered the confirmation of the Forum office bearers who include Helping Phawa as chairman, Satly Ryngkhlem and former MDC Dunno Nongpluh as vice chairmen, former Khliehriat MLA Justine Dkhar as the spokesperson, coal baron Thomas Nongtdu as the treasurer and Kermi Ksoo as assistant treasurer and JSM president Lining Rymbai and Reachingson Siangshai as general secretary and assistant secretary, respectively.

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