Tribal Affairs Minister's son fighting for his status in Court

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Shillong, Feb 5 (UNI) Union Tribal Affairs Minister P R Kyndiah's son Waibha K Kyndiah today submitted to a lower court in Meghalaya, his reply explaining his Schedule Tribe status after the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council(KHADC) questioned his tribal status.

The KHADC yesterday stripped away his tribal status on grounds that it violated Sections 10 and 3(1) of the Khasi Social Custom of Lineage Act, 1997. The decision came following NGO Ka Seng Tip Kur Tip Kha U Khasi's filing a complaint against him to the Council.

According to these sections, ''A Khasi shall cease to be Khasi, if he does not follow the Khasi matrilineal system.'' In addition to this, junior Kyndiah also violated Section 3(1) of the Act, which stated that ''A person whose both the parents belong to Khasi community will have to give his surname to his mother,'' the KHADC office stated.

In Meghalaya, the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo communities follow the matrilineal system, where the surname is taken from the mother's side.

The local NGO also took the matter up before the court of East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner B Dhar, alleging that junior Kyndiah violated Section 10 of the Khasi Social Custom of Lineage Act 2005.

''I have received the reply of Waibha K Kyndiah today and would consult legal experts before making my decision on February 22,'' Mr Dhar told reporters at his chamber.

The tussle between the Kyndiahs and sacked KHADC HS Shylla heated up after the Congress high command allowed junior Kyndiah to contest the Assembly elections slated for March 3 from Nongkrem constituency.

THe junior Kyndiah is the Congress's candidate from Nongkrem constituency, which is reserved seat for the Scheduled Tribe. Sacked KHADC Chief Executive Member H S Shylla had also applied for the party ticket from the same constituency but was overlooked. Mr Shylla had accused Union Tribal Affairs Minister P R Kyndiah of using his influence to get the party ticket for his son.

Meanwhile, emerging from the DC's chamber, Waibha K Kyndiah iterated that he was a ''tribal Khasi''. He exuded confidence that the DC would rule the verdict in his favour.

''I am very much a Khasi and the final authority in deciding my status will be the Deputy Commissioner,'' the junior Kyndiah said.

UNI RRK LL KLC1635

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