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Garos of Assam petition to CM Himanta Sarma for creation of Garo Autonomous Council

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Shillong, Nov 29: The United Garo Autonomous Council Movement Committee (UGACMC) has sought the intervention of the Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for creation of a separate Garo Autonomous Council, which has been a long pending demand of over 7 lakh Garos in Assam.

In a letter to Sarma, UGACMC chairman Pholince Sangma said the Garos must have a separate Autonomous Council of its own in Assam within the framework of the Indian Constitution for shaping their own destiny in respect of political, socio-cultural ethnicity, education etc.

Provision for separate Administrative Power to the tribal living in India as provided in the Schedules V and VI of the Indian Constitution is an instance in this regard.

“Hence, for the holistic development of this region, it is imperative on the part of the Government of Assam to take cognizance of the matter and acknowledge this right of the Garos and take necessary initiatives in upgradation of Garo Development Council to Garo Autonomous Council on satellite basis in Assam. So I request your honour to peruse our strong demand towards the greater interest of the Garo people,” Sangma said in the memorandum.

Stating that the Garo people are the second largest ethnic tribe after the Bodo community in Assam, he said, “Only fulfilling the demand of a separate Garo Autonomous Council in Assam can address the aspirations of the Garo community in Assam where we can covet to preserve our unique culture, tradition and language.”

He said they have been demanding for the Garo Autonomous Council on satellite basis in Assam since long, but the Govt of Assam granted the Garo Development Council (GDC) to the Garos of Assam duly constituted under the Government notification dated January 28, 2021, in pursuance to the earlier notifications – for the welfare and development of the Garo community is a positive initiative towards this cause.

Hailing the Assam government’s decision to protect the rights and privilege of the Garo tribe, Sangma said, “Attempt for self-governance within the framework of the Indian Constitution with a view to establishing the ethnic identity and development appears to be the reason for the democratic movement by the Garo Community which is the second largest among all the tribes in Assam. The Garos are one of the indigenous tribe, “son of the soil” who must be given freedom to assert and determine the universally accepted principle of right to political self-determination.”

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