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By Our Reporter | Shillong, July 30, 2018

Huge debates has been going on in Meghalaya pertaining to the KHADC’s Khasi Social Custom of Lineage Second Amendment 2018 that suggests, “Any Khasi woman who marries a Non-Khasi as well as her offspring(s) born out of such marriage(s) shall be deemed as Non-Khasi who shall lose the Khasi status and all privileges and benefits as a member of the Khasi Tribe who cannot claim preferential privileges under any law.” The Bill seems to have seemingly divided the Khasi populace into two parts- those who agree and those who do not agree with the bill pertaining to its gender biasness.

ALSO READ | Toxic Masculinity: What the Amendment to Khasi Social Custom of Lineage Act, 1997 is really about

However, KHADC CEM Hispreaching Son Shylla today said that the “Bill has come at a right time especially when the Assam government is all set to publish the Draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), he said it is anticipated that illegal immigrants will try to enter the state and this Bill will act as strong protection for our people”.

“We will also keep a check on traditional headmen. If they are found to be indulging in giving rampant residential certificates to doubtful citizens, we will take action to the extent of removing them as headmen,” he added.

ALSO READ | An open letter to KHADC leaders on Khasi Lineage Bill 2018

A copy of the Bill was today submitted to Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong who said that the Government will give its comments on the KHADC (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 only if the Governor seeks the views of the Government.

“We will have nothing to say even if the Governor approves the bill without consulting the Government. Being a constitutional body, the Khasi Autonomous District Councils (KHADC) is free to legislate laws in matters under its jurisdiction. The Government is not authorized to intrude into matters falling under the Council,” Tynsong said while talking to media persons here today.

READ | Mr. Shylla won’t approve of this: I, a Khasi woman, oppose the KHADC Amendment of Lineage Act

He however said not only the Autonomous District Councils even the State Government is committed towards protecting the interest of the three major indigenous tribes of the State.

“The KHADC has come up with this bill since it might have thought that this is the best way to protect the indigenous community from various kinds of exploitation,” Tynsong said.

Meanwhile, the KHADC said it would convene a meeting of the Khasi-Jaintia people in case there is any attempt to obstruct the passage of the bill from becoming an Act.

“We will convene a meeting of the people from both Khasi and Jaintia Hills region if there is any attempt to obstruct the passage of the Bill from becoming an Act,” KHADC chief Hispreaching Son Shylla told reporters here on Monday.

The CEM, who led a delegation of the ruling Khasi Hills Democratic Alliance (KHDA)-led executive committee also met and handed over the copy of the Bill to the deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong requesting the state government’s intervention into the matter.

“He (Tynsong) has assured us that the state government would study the Bill and we have requested him to consider speeding up the process in order for the Bill to get the assent of the Governor at the earliest,” he said.

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