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SHILLONG, January 28: The Hynñiewtrep Achik National Movement (HANM) expressed its protest against the move of the Government to fiddle with the memorial monument Motphran located in the heart of Shillong city as it is the one and only monument that honours and immortalise the warriors of Khasi Hills known as the 26 Labour Corps who fought in World War I in France.

The HANM on Friday, the 28th of January also hung placards with inscriptions, lest the public forgets the stalwarts and courageous men of the community.

The Vice-President of HANM, Nelson Kharbani has said that the Government should not fiddle with old memorial monuments or monoliths.In pointing to old monuments, he said that the specific monument known as Motphran was erected by the British Government as a mark to immortalise the Khasi soldiers. He said that the State Government should no longer destroy the memorial monuments built by ancestors, should not temper them as per it’s wish to make them appear of the new era, but to preserve the old ancestral monuments so that the legends and tales of the old also remains alive in the present.

He said that Garo Labour Corps is commemorated every year on the 16th of July but no such thing has been made statutory for the Khasi Labour Corps and Motphran is the only monument that bears the legacy of the Khasis who fought in World War I. Kharbani has strongly urged upon the Government to preserve these important monuments so that the future generations can witness the true legacy of the ancestors.

It may be pointed that the Government in its endeavour to beautify Shillong for the Golden Jubilee celebration of Statehood had also revamped Motphran which bears the name of Khasi soldiers as the 26 Labour Corps, and in this revamping, decorative lights were placed with water flowing around it and flowerpots placed on the monument.

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