Next round of border-related talks with Assam soon: Meghalaya CM
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma had in March last year signed an MoU for demarcating the border in at least six of the 12 contested locations that often raised tensions between the two states. File photo

Guwahati: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) has asked Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma not to be dictated by Himanta Biswa Sarma and to ensure that all the villages occupied by the Khasi-Pnar are brought back to Meghalaya in the second phase of border talks with Assam.

In a statement issued on August 21, HYC President Robertjune Kharjahrin said: “We implore upon our chief minister and the government not to be a trailer of Assam’s jeep and be dictated by what the Assam chief minister or his government is putting on the table but rather take a firm stand in order to ensure that all the villages inhabited by the Khasi-Pnar and territories falling under the Himas are brought back to Meghalaya so that this settlement is acceptable to all.”

Saying that HYC is not against the border talks with Assam, Kharjahrin stated, “But we stand firm in our demand that any settlement or decision of demarcation of boundary should be made with the agreement of all concerns especially our Himas and the ADCs.”

He further added that the council has urged the state governments to consider all the remaining six sectors – Nongmynsaw (Langpih), Block 1, Block 2, Psiar & Khanduli, Deshdomria (Raid Khadar Bongthai), Baridua & Nongwah Mawtamur.

He also warned that “failure to take all the stakeholders on board before signing any documents during the second phase will not be tolerated”.

Recalling the first phase of border talks between Assam and Meghalaya, Kharjahrin said that the five agreed principles of ethnicity, administrative convenience,  geographical contiguity, historical facts and willingness of the people were not considered by the governments while arriving at a decision.

He said that too much importance was given to the ‘will of the people’ living in the affected areas who are primarily settlers and tenants.

Kharjahrin also alleged that all the decisions were taken in violation of the regional committee recommendation and said, “What is most disturbing and amusing is the fact that even though regional committees were formed with an objective of providing a report to the government to come with a solution, it is found that the recommendation of the WKHD regional committee was not accepted at all by the chief minister of our state.”

He also said that the state government did not even consult the stakeholders like the Himas and the ADCs before signing the MOU.

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