AIM leads protest against forced vaccination in Meghalaya
SHILLONG, July 24: The voice of dissent against alleged forced vaccination by the State Government reached its feverish pitch on Saturday with few citizens of the State joining the bandwagon of the nation wide protest of Awaken Indian Movement (AIM) against mandatory vaccination and lockdown.
Not allowed to march through the city street, the group of protestors staged a demonstration at Mothphran parking lot.
A member of the team AIM, Banshai Marbaniang said that they had to hit the streets as the the State government is trying to take away their fundamental rights by forcing vaccination, mandatory masking and testing and discriminating based on vaccine status.
He said that if people are not vaccinating they are harrassed by being forced to test every ten days and that putting up of vaccination status is another way of discriminating those who has not vaccinated.
He alleged many employees have been told to either get vaccinated or they will be removed.
Marbaniang questioned as to how will the daily wage earners and others live if they are asked to stay at home in the absence of any help from the State Government.
Pointed out that the health expert worldwide is stressing on the need of masking to fight the pandemic, he said that he is not a medical expert but people should not be harrassed on the pretext of enforcing masking.
Informing that they were denied to march through the city streets as planned, he said that they will once again call similar protest in days to come to drive their point home.
Meanwhile, North Shillong MLA, Adelbert Nongrum who came out in support of the movement said, ” I came to support the cause because I also believe that vaccination should not be forced”.
He stressed that freedom of speech and expression should be respected and there should not be any forced vaccination as it affects those who do not want psychologically.
Vaccination hesitancy has been a big challenge for the State government in this fight against COVID and while it aims to vaccinate 80 percent of its population the figures does not look very promising.