Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022
Outlook.com

Anti-Dkhar In CAA Ante

Clashes between tribals and non-tribals leave three people dead in Meghalaya

Anti-Dkhar In CAA Ante Anti-Dkhar In CAA Ante

Iewduh, Shillong’s oldest market, was busier than usual for a Saturday morning. The capital of Meghalaya had spent Friday night under curfew, and people had thronged the market to stock up on essentials fearing more unrest. Just as business was picking up for Rupchand Dewan, 29, a migrant tomato-seller from Assam, a group of masked men went on a stabbing spree. Ten ‘dhkars’—as outsiders are called in native Khasi—were attacked. Dewan, stabbed multiple times, died in hospital, barely fifteen days since he and his wife had adopted a baby girl. The attack in Shillong came a day after a Khasi, Lurshai Hynniewta, 35, was killed in clashes between non-tribals and natives at Ichamati, a township on the Meghalaya-Bangladesh border about 85 km from the capital, which was promptly placed under curfew as a precautionary measure. Another man, Uphas Uddin, was stabbed to death by unknown assailants in East Khasi Hills on Sunday. Police, however, say they are probing other angles into his death.

In a state which has a bloody history of ethnic violence since it was carved out of Assam in 1972, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has opened up old faultlines—insecurities of the nat­ives of an “outsider” influx and primal fears of non-tribals who are viewed as the aggressors.  In 2018, Shillong had seen violence after a minor incident involving tribals and Dalit Sikhs, a small community who were brought to the state by the British in the 19th century, blew up. The influential Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and its breakaway group, the Confe­dera­tion of Meghalaya Social Organisations, have been leading a sustained campaign against CAA and demanding introduction of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) reg­ime to regulate entry of “outsiders” to the state. Most parts of tribal Megha­laya are protected under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and, hence, out of CAA’s purview.

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