Shillong: Rambrai Jyrngam MLA Kimfa Marbaniang on Monday expressed concern over three villages — Joypur, Salbari and Huwapara that have been ceded to Assam and said he will pursue the matter with Meghalaya’s Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to try and include these villages back in the state.
“We are trying to request our CM to hold talks with the Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, because residents from these areas want to be in Meghalaya,” said Marbaniang.
“This government (under Conrad Sangma of the National People’s Party) had followed the 2011 map that was given by the previous government (under Mukul Sangma of the Indian National Congress) to Assam and in that 2011 report these three villages weren’t part of Meghalaya map, so they have been left out,” stated Marbaniang.
The three villages were originally a part of West Khasi Hills but no longer figure in the list of places that were accorded to Meghalaya in the pact signed by Conrad Sangma and his Assam counterpart to resolve disputes along the interstate border.
Langpih comes under Marbaniang’s constituency and falls under disputed land. Sordars, headmen, hima chiefs, and others should be taken on board. The MLA said the purpose of this settlement needs to be understood by the representatives and then public opinion should be sought like it was during the first phase.
Both the local representatives of one of the controversial areas in the Assam-Meghalaya border dispute, MLA Kimfa Marbaniang and MDC Bajop Pyngrope are hopeful that the pending issue will be resolved.
“We are seeing protests and misleading statements from many pressure groups which is sad when it comes to West Khasi Hills. To say that we have ceded many areas is false,” said Pyngrope.
“Meghalaya has gained territories like Tarabari. Why these people are not talking about this?” he asked.
“We understand we overlooked those three villages so we are hopeful with consultation we can bring them back so that the agitations will stop. It is not that we are selling our land it is the negligence of the previous government and we have to pay for it,” added Pyngrope.
Marbaniang acknowledged that matters were carried out hastily in the first phase so this time discussions should be carried out thoroughly since some complicated areas are involved.
Pyngrope added that Langpih has 298 sq km that fall under the area of differences, and they are hopeful the issue is resolved. He added that stakeholders like NGOs and headmen should come together and be taken on board the talks.
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