A tribal council in Meghalaya has called for a meeting of traditional heads to revisit the Instrument of Accession that made the Khasi domain a part of the Indian Union more than seven decades ago.
Meghalaya is divided into three regions dominated by as many matrilineal communities – the Khasis, Garos and Jaintias. The Khasi hills straddle 25 Himas or States that formed the Federation of Khasi States.
Titosstarwell Chyne, the chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) agreed that the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement signed with the Dominion of India between December 15, 1947, and March 19, 1948, should be studied.
The conditional treaty with these States was signed by Governor General of India, Chakravarty Rajagopalachari, on August 17, 1948.
“The traditional heads will be called for a meeting to discuss how this can be taken forward,” Mr. Chyne said.
The need to revisit the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement was stressed by Mr. Pynshngain N. Syiem, Congress leader in the KHADC. “Understanding the paragraphs of the agreement is important as many provisions are missing from the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution,” he said.
Mr. Syiem said the Federation of Khasi States had sought special status but were too late in putting their case across. “Nagaland was granted special status under Article 371A, which was an idea the Federation of Khasi States had proposed,” he added.
The KHADC said the provisions can be added to the Sixth Schedule, which “can be amended by Parliament”.