Meghalaya students' body opposes reservations to non-indigenous residents

Meghalaya students' body opposes reservations to non-indigenous residents

The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) Students’ Wing has voiced strong opposition against the demands for reservations by non-indigenous residents in Meghalaya. They have urged the state government to dismiss these demands, citing potential tensions and the unique provisions of the Khasi States Treaty.


The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) Students’ Wing has condemned the demand by various non-indigenous residents (Bihari, Nepali, etc) of Meghalaya for reservations in education and employment within the state and demanded that the state government not pay heed to their demands which would lead to unnecessary tension. 

Stating that the non-indigenous residents must demand reservations in their respective homelands, the HITO, in its press release said, “We would like to remind all that Hynñiewtrep individuals do not demand reservations in Bihar, Darjeeling West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh of the respective areas and states of the communities mentioned.”

According to HITO, the Khasi and Jaiñtia Hills Districts remain governed by the Khasi States Treaty, wherein these territories never formally merged but instead entered into a conditional treaty of accession with special provisions. It said, “Such demands have no principle and they should abstain from such demands as they have no such right in our respective territory.” 

Urging the state government to ignore the demands made by the non-indigenous residents, the organization warned that the same would create unnecessary tension. 

Furthermore, the organization also cited the issue as a reason behind the demand for ILP, additionally stating that non-tribals cannot own land in the state as per the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Regulation Act 1971.

The students’ body also reminded that “the non-indigenous communities are tenants in Meghalaya” and must respect the decisions made by the indigenous people, adding that non-compliance will be met by “stiff resistance”. 

“Other non-Hynniewtrep people have no right to make such demands and consider themselves to be the ‘Children of the Soil’ and that the Hynñiewtrep territories are their homeland,” the press release stated. 

The student body criticized the community demanding reservations in Meghalaya, noting their involvement in creating havoc in border areas with Assam, particularly in Langpih, as they sought to join Assam. They further added that the communities had tried to upsurge the rights of the indigenous people, namely the Hynñiewtrep people, in the years 1978, 1987. 

Additionally, they pointed out that during the Hill State Movement, these communities did not participate in the struggle for statehood, prompting questions about the legitimacy of their current reservation demands.

"We will not tolerate such provocations and demands made by such communities who have no right to make any demands in our territories," asserted HITO in their statement, further quoting former Law Minister, late Martin N Majaw who notified the Land Transfer Act in 1978: “We don't like outsiders to stay here. We tell them, come here, appreciate the blue sky and the green hills, and then go away.”

Edited By: Avantika
Published On: Jun 18, 2024