Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma and Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma during a meeting on July 23, 2021

The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) has asked Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma not to be dictated by his counterpart in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma but rather to ensure all villages inhabited 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.”

Stating that the council is not against the border settlement with Assam, Kharjahrin said: “But we stand firm in our demand that any settlement or decision of demarcation of boundary should be done with the agreement of all concerns especially our Himas and the ADCs.”

He said the HYC also urged both the state governments to take up all the remaining 6 sectors – Nongmynsaw (Langpih), Block 1, Block 2, Psiar & Khanduli, Deshdomria (Raid Khadar Bongthai), Baridua & Nongwah Mawtamur – and not to take up only one or two sectors and leaving behind some sectors during the second phase of border talks.

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

Kharjahrin recalled that during the first phase of border talks, they have seen that the five agreed principles of historical facts, ethnicity, geographical contiguity, administrative convenience and willingness of the people were not followed by the governments while arriving at a decision.

According to him, too much importance was given upon the ‘will of the people’ residing in the affected areas who in fact are only the tenants and settlers, who are not even owners of the land of the Hima Khasi.

Even the agreed principle of ‘historical fact’ and ‘documents’ were not even considered during the whole process.

“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 were not accepted at all by the chief minister of our state,” the HYC president alleged adding that all decisions were taken in contravention of the regional committee recommendation.

He said that even before proceeding ahead with signing the MoU, the state government did not even consult the important stakeholders like the Himas, Dorbar Shnongs and the ADCs.

This has hurt the sentiments of majority of stakeholders in this matter and this action of the government even lead to the affected Dorbar Himas to approach the Supreme Court of India to seek justice and remedies, he stated.

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