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KSU blames leaders for armed struggle

Shillong, Feb. 26: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) today blamed the political masters for their failure to take up issues concerning the indigenous people, which led some of the youths to take up arms.

The blame came against the backdrop of KSU vice-president Frederick Kharmawphlang resigning from the post earlier this month where he also announced that he was joining the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

The KSU central executive committee, which met here this evening, deliberated for several hours on Kharmawphlang’s decision to quit the students’ body.

At the end, the committee decided to respect the vice-president’s decision to sever ties with the KSU, but maintained that the organisation’s door was always open for the former vice-president.

Addressing reporters after the committee meeting, KSU president Daniel Khyriem said the public representatives have repeatedly failed to raise their voice on burning issues concerning the indigenous people.

“The failure of the public representatives to speak on issues, which concern the welfare of the indigenous people, has forced youths to resort to arms struggle,” Khyriem said.

He said it was the pressure groups, which have always been raising their voice on critical issues when it should be the responsibility of public representatives to speak out.

Therefore, he said, the government should be “decisive” so that youths are not compelled to choose a different path.

In his resignation letter, Kharmawphlang had said he had chosen to unite with the HNLC in order to make the government see reason.

“As a KSU leader, I find that the Congress government has only been resorting to delaying tactics on the issue of inner-line permit (ILP) as 2014 is a political year,” he had stated.

Khyriem agreed that the government has been delaying taking a decision on the issue of protecting the indigenous people from influx and illegal immigration.

“The government should respect the recommendations of the high-level committee on Influx constituted by it, which recommended for the implementation of the ILP. It should also come up with concrete decisions on influx and illegal immigration,” the KSU president said, adding that the students’ union was firm on its demand for the implementation of the permit regime.

The KSU is one of the 13 groups, which have been demanding implementation of the permit regime as it felt that it was a feasible mechanism to check influx and illegal immigration into Meghalaya.

He warned the government from resorting to delaying tactics on vital issues as delays would only heighten the people’s frustration, especially the youths.

KSU general secretary Auguster Jyrwa said the union has appealed to its members to refrain from resorting to extreme measures as it could have a disastrous effect.