Shillong, Oct 22 (IANS) An influential students’ body in Meghalaya has put up posters in different places accusing all Bengalis in the state as ‘Bangladeshis’, prompting the state police to remove the posters and warn of action against those trying to “incite communal disharmony”.
The banners and posters, reading “All Meghalaya Bengalis are Bangladeshis”, were reportedly put up by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU).
A police officer said that for the interest of communal harmony, the KSU should refrain from indulging in such activities otherwise legal action would be taken against those trying to disturb peace and harmony.
Former Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy, also a Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Kolkata, said in a tweet: “I say this taking full responsibility as ex-Governor of Meghalaya: KSU needs to be banned just like HNLC. It is an anti-national terrorist organisation, threatening Indian citizens, some of whom are residents of Meghalaya since British times. Like my family on both sides.”
The Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) is a banned militant outfit in Meghalaya.
Shillong-based Central Puja Committee (CPC) also appealed to all sections of the community irrespective of caste, creed and religion to maintain peace, harmony and brotherhood among the residents of Shillong in particular and the state of Meghalaya in general.
The KSU, in its banners and posters, also mourned the death of one of its activists in clashes during the agitations against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Ichamati village, a Bengali-dominated area along the India-Bangladesh border, in February.
The prime accused in the Ichamati incident is absconding but around 40 people had been detained for questioning.
The old issue resurfaced after some people wrote to various organisations and state Governor Satya Pal Malik alleging harassment of Bengali speaking people by some locals at Ichamati.
KSU President Lambok Marngar said: “The display of banners and posters were intended to give a message to the trouble-mongers who are misleading the people in other parts of the country and generating hate, especially by misutilising the Ichamati incident.”
Talking to the media, Marngar alleged that some people are giving false statements that Khasis (local tribals) are targeting non-tribals.
Some people recently staged a protest outside the Meghalaya House in Kolkata and also in Assam’s Silchar.
KSU General Secretary Donald Thabah told the media in Shillong that these protests are against ‘fake narratives’.
The Meghalaya government has recently denied permission to a West Bengal based Bengali dominated organisation who wanted to visit Ichamati to see the condition of the Bengali people living there.