Nongpoh, September 22: The public rally organised by HITO to protest the plan to establish casinos in Meghalaya which began from Umïam to Khanapara, culminated in Byrnihat with the burning of effigies of MDA Ministers which includes Conrad Sangma and Prestone Tynsong.
The Police and District Administration of Ri-Bhoi District stopped the rally at Byrnihat and this enraged and angered the members of HITO further, but the members of HITO did not turn back and began shouting slogans and condemning the State Government, and also led on a sit-in demonstration along the highway which resulted in traffic jams on both sides of the road.
Donbok Dkhar, President of HITO,Central body said that the public rally will move ahead as had been decided and if the Police do not allow them to complete the rally, the members of HITO are ready to fight the police force, and also ready to give their lives for the community.
After a long talk between the leaders of HITO and police high officials and the high officials of the District Administration, the police force allowed HITO to complete their rally in peace and in a smooth manner with no one creating any problem or disruptions.
After HITO completed their public rally, a meeting was also held in Byrnihat, and the speakers at the meeting included Ban Kharnaior, President of HITO, Ri-Bhoi District and Donbok Dkhar, President of HITO, Central Body, expressed their strong opposition to the aim of the Government to establish casinos in Ri-Bhoi District. They also said that the organisation will not remain silent and will not allow the Government to do whatever it wants, and if the Government intends to go ahead with this matter, the organisation will resort to other steps and the organisation will fight on even if they have to shed their blood.
Furthermore, the President of HITO, Central Body expressed that the Government intends to buy the members of the organisation by luring them with jobs in the casinos, but as wise leaders they rejected the offers which are meant to bring a divide amongst the leaders of HITO and said that they have remained strong on their principle to oppose the aim of the Government to make Khasi Hills a gambling center.
At the end of the meeting, the members of HITO burnt the effigies of the MDA Government Ministers to express their opposition to the highhanded approach of the leaders of the MDA Government.