President of KJDCDC submits memorandum to Meghalaya CM on Wednesday Credit: EastMojo

Shillong: Fighting for a development council since 2011, the Khasi-Jaintia Development Council Demand Committee of Barak Valley on Wednesday met Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma to appeal to him to facilitate a discussion with the Government of Assam.

The Committee is an organisation seeking for the constituting of the development council for Khasi tribe based in Barak valley- three districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj.

President of KJDCDC Barak Valley Sebastine Pakyntien was accompanied by Khasi Students’ Union General Secretary, Donald Thabah.

Briefing the media Thabah said that upon noticing that the Assam Government has been granting development councils to various minority tribes and Khasis are among those minority, so they also seek a development council like other tribes.

According to Thabah, through these councils, grants were being given by the government of Assam for development such as basic amenities like health, infrastructure, roads and communication, electricity.

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“If you go to Khasi villages in Barak Valley, they are mostly located in the hilly and remote areas. There is less connectivity, with no proper electricity and no water supply. There is zero development in those areas,” Thabah said.

He added, “If a development council is constituted, the government will nominate members to see through about the development activities in those areas through the grants. Then at least their dignity of living will be raised to the standard and up to some level. This is what they are demanding, and they have been doing so since 2011, with the previous government of Assam. Till date, they have never received any assurance from the government of Assam.”

Thabah also expressed that since it is natural for the people of this area to look up to their parent state, Khasis residing for over 100 years in those areas they look up to the government of Meghalaya. “Likewise the people met the chief minister and appealed to him to facilitate between the Khasi people and government of Assam for the constitution of a development council,” said Thabah.

According to Thabah, during their discussion, the Sangma has assured that he will talk with his counterparts in Assam and at the same time he will also try to set up a meeting with the CM of Assam so that they can air their grievances.

Thabah also informed that Sangma may discuss the same with the government of Assam tonight depending on the availability of the Assam Government.

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