TURA : Leaders of Garo Hills NGOs including the GSU, FKJGP, AYWO and ADE recently met GHADC Chief Executive Member (CEM) Dipul R Marak and raised various issues that need to be immediately taken up by the Council.
The ‘Boldamgre issue’ was one of the points raised during their meeting concerning Olsin Ch Marak, son-in-law of the deceased Nokma, who has been accused of illegally selling land to encroachers belonging to the minority community despite a case pending in the GHADC court.
According to the NGOs the hearing on the case was scheduled for April 18 this year but has been delayed by Marak’s lawyer and has been rescheduled for May 10.
Discussions regarding codification of Garo Customary Laws also took place with the NGOs stressing on the need for a law in the council which can protect the indigenous people.
“The GCL has the potential to further strengthen the Land Transfer Act by removing the ability of indirect transfer of land to a non-tribal by way of marriage,” they said adding that assurance was given by the CEM to take up the matter in this year’s July session.
Stating that the use of the Assembly electoral rolls for GHADC elections was diluting the spirit of the Sixth Schedule, the NGOs expressed the need to prepare a separate electoral roll for the Council, so that participation of non-tribals can be prevented.
Another issue discussed during the meeting included the rampant issuance of TNT to outsiders by the GHADC with the organisations alleging that ‘even the non-tribal community has started to complain’.
The issue of 15 month’s pending salary to the employees of the GHADC was also raised by the NGOs to which assurance was given that five month’s salary would be released at the earliest.