Shillong couple sits on six-hour-long strike to protest attacks on minorities in Meghalaya

In a rare move, a couple from Shillong sat on a six-hour-long strike on Sunday to protest “decades of violence and atrocities” against Meghalaya’s non-tribal population. The immediate trigger that led Sushit Kanti (68) and Kalpana Choudhury (58) to sit on a silent protest in the heart of Shillong was an episode of violence on January 20, where “unidentified miscreants” assaulted a group of non-tribal people close to a police station in the town’s Lumdiengjri locality.

The couple, who had taken permission from the East Khasi Hills district administration to protest, held up banners that said “Assault on innocent non-tribals is nothing less than barbarism”, “Enough is enough, stop communal violence”, “Stop hitting one community against the other”, and so on. “This kind of violence against non-tribals goes back to the 1970s…the perpetrators are never brought to book.

My wife and I thought enough was enough, and decided to register our protest,” said Sushit, a businessman, who was born and bought up in Shillong. “My father came to Shillong in the 1930s from Sylhet, our family has lived here since. This is the only home we know. Yet, the Bengali community has often been subject to violence and humiliation.”

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