SHILLONG, Aug 08: The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government will soon return the KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) for further fine tuning as has been informed by Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong.
Tynsong had provided this information to a delegation of the Saiñdur, Tipkur Tipkha, Ieng, Ehrngiew, Khun Hynñiewtrep (STIEH) which had called on him on Wednesday.
“The deputy chief minister told us the government would return back the Bill to the KHADC for further fine tuning,” STIEH publicity secretary Badariti Lyngdoh Nonglait after meeting Tynsong.
She said that accordingly, the STIEH would also conduct a follow up with the KHADC since they wanted to ensure the Bill becomes an Act at the earliest.
It may be mentioned here that the Khasi Social Custom of Lineage (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 passed by the KHADC on July 25, seeks to strip off the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status of Khasi women who marries non-Khasi men and their offspring.
“We have decided to come together to support this Bill because we feel there is a need to have a law to protect and preserve the identity of the indigenous community from all forms of invasion including through intermarriages,” Badariti said.
Opining the Bill is not free of flaws, she however said that the STIEH has also decided to submit its suggestions to ensure that the Bill should also talk about Khasi men.
“We also need to be clear what will happen to the offspring from Khasi mother who marries a non-Khasi if they marry a Khasi whether they would still be considered as a Khasi,” she said.
On the other hand, STIEH vice president F Majaw said that they would also urged those who are opposing to come forward and support the Bill. “The Bill is not aimed at intruding the freedom of choice of the people but it is purely to protect the indigenous community,” she asserted.