The East Khasi Hills district administration reportedly denied permission to staging of a pride rally by members of the LGBTIQA+community, who had gathered at Police Bazar (in Shillong, Meghalaya) on Saturday to celebrate the Supreme Court’s verdict decriminalising consensual gay sex.
A report appearing in the The Times of India stated that the local administration said ‘no’ citing “law and order problems”. The rally was originally planned from Police Bazar at 4pm but after they were refused permission, the members of the community later shifted to Don Bosco Square in the city.
The report further stated that the DC of East Khasi Hills district, PS Dkhar, said in his order – “Permission was denied because of the fluid law and order situation in the area. Also, the request for permission was received very late and it could not be granted.” Dkhar said permission for the rally could not be granted as ‘Dorbar Hima’, a meeting of traditional grassroots organisations, was being held at the Polo Grounds on Friday. Therefore, the pride rally could have led to failure of law and order in the area, he added. The DC also said the decision was not influenced by pressure from any quarter.
Activists and members of the LGBTIQA+ community, after being denied permission, shifted to the Don Bosco Square in the city, holding placards and banners to celebrate the landmark Supreme Court verdict. “We will take out a pride rally later,” said Donna
Marwein, an LGBT activist and member of Shamakami, an NGO that works for gay rights, said, “We are very relieved after the Supreme Court judgement. We have faced discrimination for a long time. Now we hope that people will start treating us as fellow human beings.”