Shillong Dec 30: A newly built memorial statue of U Kiang Nangbah was unveiled on his 157th death anniversary who died after revolting against the British.
The statue was built by the Khasi Students Union at Shillong Civil Hospital junction.
The inauguration of the statue was marked by performing of traditional dance known as Shad Shutwait by dancers from Ri-Bhoi district.
Tributes and wreaths were laid at the memorial statue of U Kiang Nangbah on this day which was also commemorated in Jaiñtia Hills.
U Kiang Nangbah had fought against the British when Khasi Jaiñtia was not part of India. He was hanged at ïawmusiang in Jowai town in West Jaiñtia Hills district on 30 December 1862.
At the gallows on the evening of December 30, 1862, U Kiang said something prophetic, “Brothers and sisters, please look carefully on my face when I die on the gallows. If my face turns towards the east, my country (Khasi Jaiñtia) will be freed from foreign yoke in the next 100 years and if it turns west, it will remain in bondage for good.”
KSU president, Lambokstarwell Marngar, North East Students Organisation (NESO) chairman, Samuel B Jyrwa, Seiñ Jaiñtia Women’s Wing president, Biliancy Thabah and others spoke on the occasion and paid tributes to U Kiang Nangbah.
The Khasi Students Union (KSU) announced that it would intensify agitations after the New Year till the demand to implement the Inner Line Permit is fulfilled.
Speaking at the commemoration of the 157th death anniversary of U Kiang Nangbah here, KSU president, Lambokstarwell Marngar said that the people of Hynñiewtrep as a community are still facing challenges in all fronts and called upon everyone to shoulder the responsibility to work towards safeguarding the interest of the indigenous people.
“The community will live if the sense of responsibility is with each one us,” he said, as he instil the fighting spirit of U Kiang Nangbah.
Recalling the passage of a government resolution to urge the Centre to implement the Inner Line Permit in Meghalaya, Marngar said that immediately after the New Year, the Union will intensify the agitations till the demand to implement ILP in the state is met.
According to Marngar, the State government and the MLAs had passed the resolution to demand ILP in Meghalaya because of the voice of the people.
“If the Central government can give ILP to the state of Manipur why not us,” the KSU president asked.
The KSU leader also warned that if the people in power at the Centre turn down the ILP demand, “it means that they want us to re-visit all old agreements that we have entered with the Union of India, and think for future course of action.”
He also said that those opposing ILP in the state and try to lobby with the Centre not to implement it in the state, they better leave the state.
North East Students Organisation (NESO) chairman, Samuel B Jyrwa said that though freedom has been attained from the British, but the region is yet to be freed from the bondage of oppression.
On the Citizenship Amendment Act, Jyrwa alleged that through this legislation, Centre wanted to divide the unity of the Northeast by promising to exempt the CAA in some states.
Jyrwa said that the Central government has been adopting ulterior tactics which continued till date to make indigenous people of the Northeast minority in their own land.
He also slammed the Centre for implementing the CAA on religious line, and said, “we should set religion aside, but first put our identity and tribe infront.”
Meghalaya and other states in the North East have been protesting against the CAA. Meghalaya has been exempted only in Sixth Schedule areas, while states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur are exempted in view of the implementation of ILP.