Garo bodies prefer NRC over CAB in GH  

Offers suggestions to improve GHADC in proposed 6th schedule amendment

 TURA: Seven organizations from Garo Hills while strongly voicing their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) have decided to instead accept the updating of National Registration of Citizens (NRC) in Garo Hills.

The preference to accept the NRC in place of the CAB was made known following a discussion on the issue between the seven organizations which included the Senior Citizens Forum, Dakopgre Development Forum, Garo Graduates’ Union (GGU), Mothers’ Union, A’chik Literature Society (ALS), Pensioners Association and the Nokma Council.

“We are opposed to the CAB and have decided to accept the NRC in its place as we find it is more suitable,” the members said.

Meanwhile, a discussion on the issue of proposed amendment of the Sixth Schedule with regard to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) also took place where the organizations offered suggestions to improve the Council.

As per the suggestions made by the organizations in their letter to the District Council Affairs Minister in Shillong, the GHADC shall consist of a total of 32 members; the composition of which shall be 29 elected members and 3 nominated members. Out of the nominated members, 1 member should be a Nokma and the other two reserved for women.

“A nokma is the woman who has inherited her a∙king land from her parents and holds the title ‘nokma’ as per the Garo traditional land holding system and entered as such in the GHADC records. The resolution on the number of members up to a maximum of thirty-two was taken in consideration of economy in the expenditure and fund management of the GHADC,” the organizations informed in their proposal letter.

The organizations further suggested that all the nominated members should belong to the Garo tribe recognised as Scheduled Tribe in the Constitution of India and to ensure the same, all voters as well as contestants of the GHADC election should belong to the Garo Tribe.

On the matter of Village Councils, the organizations stated that there should be one Village Council in each Lasker area and the composition of the Village Council should continue as per the existing provisions in the GHADC. With regard to Municipal Councils, the organizations suggested that there should be a total of five-one each for all the five districts of Garo Hills with 15 seats each. With respect to the qualification of voting and being elected to the two Councils, the organizations suggested that all the voters and contestants should be Garos, with the elections being on the basis of adult suffrage.

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