Shillong: A day into border dispute talks, local bodies and residents demonstrate
A sit-in demonstration in the city on Monday.

Shillong: A day after the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya began talks on resolving border dispute, a conglomeration of organisations, groups, and local residents from border areas held a sit-in demonstration in Shillong on Monday.

The organisations that participated in the demonstration included the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE), Achik Youth Welfare Organisation (AYWO), Federation for Achik Freedom (FAF), and the Niksamso Garo Community Organisation (NGCO).

The demonstration was held to pressurise the state government to either scrap or review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two governments on March 29, 2022.

Protestors set up a platform adjacent to the Civil Hospital in the city displaying banners that read, ‘Don’t Give Away Our Land Without Our Consent’.

Airing her feeling of betrayal, Lalita Marak, a resident of Malangkona, said she refuses to be a citizen of Assam and wants to remain in Meghalaya. Marak said a majority of the residents of Malangkona are Garo. She alleged that the consent of the majority has not been taken and the MoU has been signed without the agreement of people from border areas.

She added that she and other residents from Malangkona would fight against the decision.

President of FKJGP (Garo Hills Zone), Pritam Arengh, said that his group will take legal action since an injustice to the people has been carried out.

He added that historical facts, ethnicity, administrative convenience, geographical continuity, and consent of the people were not taken into consideration.

ADE President Dalseng Momin stated that his organisation will not accept the MoU and will continue to agitate against it.

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