Shillong, Oct. 21: People from all walks of life converged at Khyndailad (Police Bazaar) point this morning in open defiance of a 36-hour bandh called by the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).
Organised by the Informed, Conscious and Responsible Existence (ICARE), an NGO, the “citizens’ gathering” expressed anguish at the adamant attitude of the government, pressure groups and militant outfits unwilling to come to terms through dialogue which has a grave bearing on the livelihood of thousands of daily wage earners of the state.
Individuals who volunteered to speak at the gathering asserted that there is an urgent need for the government and agitating groups to set aside “ego” and engage in talks.
Former home minister A.H. Scott, who spoke on the existing laws and acts which may be amended and applied as a mechanism to tackle influx, said: “For the past few weeks, we have experienced hard times and we are still unaware of an effective mechanism to tackle this problem.”
Members of Shillong Chamber Choir made a surprise appearance singing Make me a channel of your peace. “The choir is here of our own will today, not bound by the will of others or by vested interests. We believe that prayer can be a powerful instrument of peace,” William Richmond Basaiawmoit, a member, said. At noon, more crowds started pouring in at Khyndailad to witness the musical concert Free Your Mind featuring local bands.