TURA, July 14 � The Meghalaya Government on Wednesday evening scrapped the proposed civic polls to four municipality boards in Garo Hills amid concern that there could be an escalation of violence and security forces could be overstretched from combating militants to maintaining public order.
The decision of the government was immediately welcomed by the Garo Hills based student and social organizations opposing the civic polls under the banner of the Joint Action Committee (JAC). The JAC has announced that its proposed seven continuous days of closure of Garo Hills will no longer take place. GSU President Tengsak G Momin, on behalf of the JAC, informed that they were lifting the agitational programme with immediate effect.
This is the second time in ten months that the Meghalaya Government was forced to cancel the civic polls which have been steadfastly opposed by various student and social organizations who believe it would lead to erosion of powers of traditional institutions like the Nokmas who are the custodians of the land.
The Meghalaya Urban Affairs Minister, Ms Ampareen Lyngdoh, announced that the decision to �reschedule� the polls was taken after a threadbare discussion with the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of the three Garo Hills districts wherein it was informed that widespread opposition to the polls could eventually lead to a major law-and-order problem.