Sonowal balm for Garo demands

The Garo community in Assam are demanding a separate autonomous council on satellite basis

By Sofikul Ahmed in Goalpara
  • Published 7.12.18, 2:04 PM
  • Updated 7.12.18, 2:04 PM
  • a min read
  •  
Garo community members hand over the memorandum to Sarbananda Sonowal. Picture by Sofikul Ahmed

Members of the Garo community residing in Assam, who are demanding a separate autonomous council on satellite basis, got an assurance from chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal that he would consider their demands.

“Satellite basis” means Garos living anywhere in Assam will be benefited under various government schemes.

The United Garo Autonomous Council Movement Committee (UGACMC), an umbrella body of several Garo organisations, on Tuesday had met Sonowal and apprised him of their demands.

“He assured us to look into our demands sympathetically. He said the file of the proposed autonomous council demand is at present under the consideration of department of welfare of plain tribe and backward classes. He asked us to carry out a census of our people living all over the state. After that we will call on him again,” secretary of the committee, Thengsil Sangma, told this correspondent over phone on Thursday.

The organisation apprised Sonowal of the “pathetic” condition of the Garo people alleging that no development scheme is being implemented in their areas. “We are backward in every aspect — health, education, road connectivity and everything. Even the government schemes are not implemented properly in our areas,” Sangma said.

“We are, however, hopeful that CM Sir has considered our issue seriously and will address our grievances soon. We have also agreed to cooperate in the panchayat election being held in the state,” Sangma said.

The Garo organisations have been demanding a satellite autonomous council for over a decade.