Assam MLAs meeting Meghalaya Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma on Thursday Credit: EastMojo image

Shillong: Amid the unrest in Meghalaya, MLAs from neighbouring Assam on Thursday met the Meghalaya home minister and leader of the opposition to seek a safe passage for the stranded labourers from the state.

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MLAs Nandita Das, Rupjyoti Kurmi and Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha sought an appointment with chief minister Conrad K Sangma but were not able to meet him due to his busy schedule. The MLAs from Assam who were concerned about the unrest in the state wanted the Meghalaya government to make arrangements for the stranded labourers so that they can reach home safely.

The MLAs also met the leader of opposition Mukul Sangma and apprised him of the same.

While addressing the media, Boko MLA Nandita Das said, “There are many people who come to Meghalaya to work, for business purposes and farmers too. Products from Meghalaya are sold in Assam and likewise products from Assam are sold in Meghalaya. With the recent incidents, mainly labourers from Assam who are brought here by contractors are stranded. We want them to safely return home, and we have apprised the home minister Lahkmen Rymbui of the situation. Also told him that the families are worried as they are out of reach and they have also run out of money. Due to the curfew also they are not able to go back home. We have also requested the former chief minister Mukul Sangma for a safe passage for our people so that they can reach home safely. We hope that the Meghalaya government will be able to make arrangements for them at the earliest.”

According to Das, more than 500 people are stranded as per the information she has received from Boko constituency.

Meanwhile, Sangma said that they had listened to their concerns and the concern is more of a common concern of restoration of normalcy and peace in the state and the region.

“We are aware of the fact that the recent lawlessness that has come as fallout of Ichamati incidence that has definitely vitiated the environment of peace and harmony. And that has generated a certain amount of sense of anxiety and sense of insecurity in the minds of the family members of many people who happen to be in Meghalaya for making themselves available as migrant workers and in business,” said Sangma.

Sangma added, “The input that they have received from those affected families and the sense of insecurity being expressed indicates that there are quite a substantial number of migrant workers from Assam, who have been brought by the contractors, by many of those who are engaged in taking up infrastructural developmental works. And their desire is that government must take measures to facilitate a safe passage of those migrant workers from Assam and other parts of the country so that normalcy can be restored at the earliest.

Sangma expressed that any likelihood of unwanted incident can be avoided and that the MLAs were here to collectively contribute to restore normalcy in the state and the region.

“Meghalaya and Assam we are interdependent, and all-out people have directly or indirectly we are connected, whether it is in respect to economic activities, whether farmers in selling their perishable horticulture produce and other things. So basically I think it is important for us to appreciate their initiative to reach out to the government and to us as responsible counterpart and they have indicated that they will contribute as much as possible to facilitate all the necessary inputs to be shared with the government and the counterpart side and see how the all likelihood of any untoward incident can be avoided in the days to come,” said Sangma.

North Karimganj MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha also added that Assam and Meghalaya are dependent on each other. And that their main motive to come was to try and bring back that brotherhood relationship that the two states have. He also informed that the home minister was very serious on this issue.

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