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picketing affects office functioning in M’laya
Correspondent SHILLONG, OCT 9:
Published on 10 Oct. 2009 12:08 AM IST
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Normal functioning of the government offices and financial institutions in the Meghalaya capital remained paralysed due to the one-day office picketing by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU). The office picketing was called to protest against land lease of 422 hectares to Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL). Educational institutions have been exempted from the picketing. The East Khasi Hills district administration had earlier clamped the Section 144 of CrPC in view of the office picketing and security was tightened. Till filing of this report there have been no reports any untoward incident from any part of the city. The government, however, stuck to its gun and made it clear that it would not come under any pressure to change its decision. The KSU, which is spearheading the anti-uranium mining movement in the state for over two-decades, is demanding from the state government to scrap the cabinet’s approval to lease out land to UCIL. On August 24, the Meghalaya cabinet had approved to lease out 422 hectares of land to lease out 422 hectares of land for 30 years to Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) to undertake pre-developmental projects in proposed mining uranium areas of West Khasi Hills district. KSU president Samuel Jyrwa, pleading support from the public, said the lease agreement was only a ploy of the government to start Uranium mining in the district. The office-picketing is also supported by the Hills State People’s Democratic Party, an ally of the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government.

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