GHADC passes Garo Customary Bill with additional clauses

Shillong, November 30: The Garo Hills Autonomous District Council(GHADC) has unanimously passed the Garo Customary Law Amendment Bill, 2009 with three additional clauses.

The three new additions have been made by the GHADC to review the bill as part of the latest amendments on Thursday. Two among them is putting a stop to giving Garo status to non-Garos and that sale of tribal land to non-tribals will be marked as illegal under various Mouzas in Garo Hills.

Now, as per the amendment if a non-Garo marries a Garo woman, he will not be given tribal status despite his surname change through Court affidavit.

The bill also aims to put a stop at the rampant encroachment in Garo Hills. As per the Council MDCs, encroachment has increased due to the involvement of GHADC appointed Gaonburas in the illegal sale of land.

As per the third clause if the only daughter of a Nokma (village headman) marries a non Garo, the daughter would not be able to inherit the Nokmaship.

It may be mentioned that this is the second time that the bill has been taken up and passed by the Council.

The Garo Customary Law is yet to get the Governor’s assent after which it will come into force once passed.