Asian Centre for Human Rights

Dedicated to promotion and protection of human rights in Asia



I. Overview

Ruled by Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), the ceasefire agreement singed on 23 July 2004 with Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) [1] and surrender of about 50 cadres of Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) failed to bring peace in the state. A rehabilitation package announced by Chief Minister D D Lapang for the surrender of the armed groups’ members had little impact. In 2004, another armed opposition group, United Achik National Front (UANF) was formed in the Garo Hills. [2]    

The security forces and the armed opposition groups were responsible for violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. On the morning of 18 February 2004, Rajesh Chetri, a resident of Mawlai Nongpathaw, was found death at the Pynursla police station in East Khasi Hills district. [3]

The failure to resolve the long-standing boundary dispute with Assam led to the arrival of 200 Khasi families in November 2004. Over 4000 Khasi-Pnars from Block I and Block II areas in Karbi Anglong of Assam had returned in late 2003 after being displaced due to continued threats and atrocities perpetrated by Karbi armed opposition groups.

The violence against women in the State famous for matrilineal societies continued. Rescue of a 25-year-old woman by an NGO from being trafficked from Shillong highlights systematic and well-knitted network of the traffickers. The State Women’s Commission was allegedly constituted without consultations with NGOs.

The ruling coalition shot down a private member Right to Information Bill presented before the State assembly.

Indigenous peoples led by the Khasi Students’ Union, Hynniewtrep Environment Status Preservation Organisation and Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council continued their protest against the proposed mining by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited at Domiasiat in the West Khasi Hills District.

[1] . Centre, Meghalaya ultras sign peace pact, The Hindustan Times, 24 July 2004

[2] . New militant body launched in Garo Hills, more violence feared, The Assam Tribune, 29 March 2004

[3] . Probe ordered into custodial death, The Shillong Times, 20 February 2004