Demand for a separate 'Garoland' | File Photo

With the assembly elections in Meghalaya due early next year, several issues have been cropping up with one of these being the decades-old demand for a separate “Garoland” to be carved out of the tribal state.

The Garoland State Movement Committee (GSMC) and the National Federation for New States (NFNS), which claim to represent the indigenous Garo people residing in the western part of Meghalaya have called for a demonstration in Tura on October 29 in support of the demand for a separate state.

Deputy chief executive member of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) and the vice president of NFNS, Nikman Ch Marak said that leaders from across the country, who were part of the different statehood movements, would come forward and support the demand for a separate Garoland state.

Nikman urged all leaders to work towards ensuring a huge gathering at Teteng Aja, where the meeting to revive demand for Garoland will be held.

“If we work together, everything is possible. We can handle any obstacle and circumstance that are blocking our paths. All the leaders from different social organisations and NGOs are welcome. We need to support each other and work hand-in-hand to achieve our long-standing demand of a Garoland state,” he asserted.

Tura is the second largest city in the western part of Meghalaya and the premier city in the Garo Hills region, which is spread across a 10,102 sq km area.

The Garo Hills, comprising five districts, had nearly 14 lakh people, as per the 2011 census.

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