Shillong, Aug. 18: The Manda clan, to which Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Manda Sangma belongs, has now come out in defence of the Garo hills leader following allegations that the chief minister does not belong to the Scheduled Tribe community.
The All North East Indigenous Garo Law Promoter Association, Williamnagar, East Garo Hills, had recently alleged that Sangma does not belong to the “Sangma” clan, and that he had used his surname only to obtain a Scheduled Tribe certificate.
In a statement issued here today, the Mamong Manda Mahari Kumonggrikani (Central Malicia Clan Association), Tura, West Garo Hills, said the allegation was “baseless” and false and designed to malign the image of the chief minister.
The association, in a statement said, it was aware of the “facts” and origin of Mukul M. Sangma relating to his parents, place of birth, education beginning from the lower primary school and his clan (mahari) and since when he has been writing “Manda Sangma”.
Binoy Bhusan Maji Marak was married to late Roshanara Begum (parents of Mukul Sangma) at Murchapani village in Garo Hills in 1960 according to Christian Marriage Act, the statement said.
“After her baptism and marriage, late Roshanara Begum was ex-communicated by her relatives. She was then legally adopted on June 26, 1960 by late Rakmi Manda Sangma and her husband late Gosin Ch. Marak of Bandalkona village currently under South West Garo Hills as one of their legal daughters according to the Garo culture,” general secretary of the association Lonerson Ch. Marak said.
A deed of agreement of adoption was made in the presence of all family members and their close relatives, he added.
Since the date of adoption, late Roshanara Begum became a legal daughter of late Rakmi Manda Sangma and late Gosin Ch. Marak and changed her title from Begum to “Manda Sangma” and became a member of the “Manda” clan, Marak said.
According to Marak, Mukul Manda Sangma is the third child of Binoy Bhusan M. Marak and late Roshanara Begum Manda Sangma of Ampati village in the South West Garo Hills.
The chief minister had studied in the Ampati government lower primary school where he had written “Manda Sangma” as his clan and on completion of his higher secondary examination, the headmaster of the school had issued a character certificate recognising him as Mukul “M” Sangma.
“Therefore, it is reiterated that Mukul M. Sangma and his brother and sisters are born and brought up in the Manda Mahari family. They are all Garos and “Manda Sangma” by birth and belong to the Scheduled Tribe community and registered members of the Mamong Manda Mahari Ku.monggrikani,” Marak added.
In March 2010, Justice T. Vaiphei of the then Shillong bench of Gauhati High Court, had disposed of a petition filed by one Monindro Agitok against the chief minister on a similar issue.