KSU shuts down banks, offices in city

SHILLONG: Members of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) on Monday shut down several offices, including banks, in East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts for allegedly showing disregard to the Shad Suk Mynsiem festival by remaining open, and demanded two Khasi festivals be included in list of holidays under the Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act.
The KSU and the Federation of Khasi Jaintia Garo People (FKJGP) expressed concern at banks and other institutions not shutting down to mark the festival.
In a statement issued here, the KSU said it is saddened by the disregard shown to the festival.The union said such indifferent attitude prevails during important festivals of the Hynniewtrep community such as Shad Suk Mynsiem, Pomblang Nongkrem, Behdeinkhlam, Seng Kut Snem and death anniversaries of Tirot Sing, Kiang Nangbah,
Sngap Sing Syiem, Wickliffe Syiem and Khasi bard Soso Tham.
“Even in the previous years, the organisation would often go out and shut down the offices, schools and other enterprises due to this indifferent attitude,” the union said.
The union said many offices are open which disallows Khasi employees, who follow the traditional religion, from taking part in the festival. The union went on to say that the day was declared a holiday for East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts.
In this connection, the union informed that its members were forced to shut down these offices located in these two districts.
The union pointed out that holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act for banks do not include Shad Suk Mynsiem and Pomblang Nongkrem for which they remain open.
The union has urged the authorities in the banking sector to address the matter to ensure that the two festivals of the Khasis are included in the list of holidays under the NI Act.
With regard to companies and private enterprises, the union has warned them to show respect to the important festivals by shutting down business.
The union has urged the state government to ensure that government offices, educational institutions, banks and private companies remain closed on such days.
Further, the union said last year it was forced to close down some banks and private offices which worked on Good Friday. It warned of repeating the act if such enterprises choose to open on Good Friday.
Similarly, the FKJGP central body pointed out that branches of some banks were open on the occasion of Shad Suk Mynsiem which according to them tantamount to showing disrespect to the Khasi community.
In a statement issued here, the FKJGP has urged the state government to issue strict orders to financial and educational institutions to respect the festivals of the Khasi community mainly observed by the followers of traditional religion.
The FKJGP has also warned these institutions to shut them down in the future and if the state government does not take notice, the organisation said they would resort to aggressive steps.

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