Tura: Amid talks between the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Assam on resolving the border dispute, A’chik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM) unit of South West Garo Hills alleged land encroachment by residents of its neighboring state.
The Meghalaya based NGO met the deputy commissioner of West Garo Hills, Jagdish Chelani, at DC Tura office on Wednesday and submitted a complaint stating their allegations.
AHAM (south-western zone) General Secretary, Wester G Sangma, informed that the controversy began on May 21 when officials from Assam allegedly approached a local resident, Indong Ch Sangma, and claimed land ownership over the land.
Sangma said that the Assam officials had claimed that the land belonged to a resident of Dhapguri village under Mankachar PS, South Salmara in Assam, identifying the person as Late Akash Ali. The land in question is located in the vicinity of Chattibui market near Monabari outpost in South West Garo Hills.
According to AHAM, Assam officials produced documents related to a land dispute between the deceased person and another Assam resident identified as Shan Kumar Hajong. The documents pointed to a decree order issued by the Assam High Court in favour of the deceased.
The documents, AHAM pointed, made no mention of Sangma’s name. The NGO said that Sangma not only has the land patta but kept latest receipts for revenue paid to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
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“If there was a land dispute case in court, it should have been filed against Sangma, who possesses the necessary land patta. When we asked them on what basis the case was filed, they were unable to answer and left,” Wester said.
In addition to the alleged land encroachment, Sunday’s incident also led to the destruction of a total of 71 shops belonging to locals by the Assam officials.
Meanwhile, Jagdish Chelani during his meeting with AHAM reportedly assured to take necessary action on the matter, including deployment of security personnel in the area.
A similar complaint was also submitted by AHAM to GHADC CEM, Albinush Marak, who also assured to look into the matter.
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