The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Thursday introduced an amendment bill to amend the KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Act, 1997 that seeks to restrain Khasi women from marrying outside the community as well as taking of surname from the father.
The KHADC also passed a resolution to implement Inner Line Permit (ILP) system within the Council’s jurisdiction in Meghalaya.
The KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) (First Amendment) Bill, 2018 was introduced by the Chief Executive Member, HS Shylla on the first day of the two-day special session of the KHADC here.
The amendment Bill talks about prohibiting mixed marriage among Khasi women and taking of surname from the father.
While tabling the amendment Bill, Shylla stressed the need to further strengthen the Khasi social customs of lineage by way of codifying Khasi customary laws for effective implementation of the KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Act, 1997.
The amendment Bill talks about striping a Khasi woman of her tribal status if she marries a non-Khasi man, and children born out of such marriage too will not enjoy constitutional protections that come with it. The bill also talked about Khasi tribals who take the surname from the father would lose their tribal status.
But the amendment Bill contradicted its stand when it stated that the provision shall not apply in case of ‘Ring Bia’ or ‘Shaw Bhoi’ which is a customary practice by certain clans in Ri Bhoi district.
The Bill said, Ring Bia or Shaw Bhoi means customary practices prevailing among some native indigenous Khasi Clan in Ri Bhoi District where in the case of “duh ïing” (meaning a family having no biological female offspring), the Khasi male member of such family may marry a non-Khasi and his offspring can take his clan or title and they may be deemed to be a Khasi if they fulfill the conditions of being a Khasi as laid down in Section 3 of the Act.
Meanwhile a resolution was also passed by the KHADC on the need to apply provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 in order to implement the ILP system within the jurisdiction of the KHADC.
Reading out the resolution, Shylla said, “Now, this House does resolve to urge the Governor to apply the provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 as adopted and modified in the form of the KHAD (Inner Line as adapted from the Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873) Regulation Bill, 2018.”
According to Shylla, an alarming situation has developed out of the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam which resulted to migration of illegal immigrants.