The Meghalaya government on Thursday shared with officials of the union ministry of home affairs the details and situation related to settlers residing at Them ïew Mawlong.
The Meghalaya chief secretary along with urban affairs officials attended the meeting with MHA officials in Delhi.
The state government was called by the MHA after a complaint from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Delhi against the move to relocate those residing at Them ïew Mawlong.
The Shillong municipal board has 128 employees who stay there, and 56 employees are working with other government departments. Other people are also staying there and the place is congested and unhealthy.
SAD legislator in Delhi, Manjinder Singh Sirsa also led a delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to the union home ministry in New Delhi and apprised the officials on this issue.
Sirsa is also the president of the committee.
He tweeted that the delegation held a meeting with officials of the MHA regarding the issue related with the residents of Them ïew Mawlong (Harijan colony), “The delegation was apprised that the Meghalaya Chief Secretary has shared a report about the situation and the solution.”
Sirsa also said that Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma has been “kind enough to monitor the situation constantly”.
“He (Sangma) has informed the MHA that he will be holding a meeting with all stakeholders next week to find a befitting solution. CM Sangma has assured that Sikhs/Punjabis of Shillong have nothing to fear about,” Sirsa added in his tweeter handle.
Meanwhile, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) also asked the Meghalaya government not to remove the settlers, but allow them to construct proper shelters there.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee delegation met Meghalaya home minister James K. Sangma at Shillong on Thursday and discussed the issue while urging him to provide adequate security to the Sikh settlers,
James also assured the delegation that the government would ensure that nothing unlawful would happen as the government is trying to settle the issue.
Member of the committee, Bhagwant Singh Sailka informed that the delegation had conducted an inspection in the area, and admitted that the place at Them ïew Mawlong is like a slum.
“We feel that those living there should be allowed to construct new houses as per norms and modern techniques,” he said.
The state government had already built proper quarters for the residents especially those working with the Shillong Municipal Board.
Sailka said that building quarters is not the solution, but the solution is, they should be allowed to make their own houses.”
Sailka claimed that the area is the most suitable place for the residents especially when they have been living there for nearly 150 years since 1853.
Claiming that the Meghalaya High Court has passed an order in favour of the residents, Sailka said, “but notices were still issued by the municipal board though the details are already with the government and concerned departments.”
The committee also said that it was more concerned about the constitutional rights of the residents not the agreement signed between the municipal board and the Syiem (chief) of Hima Mylliem in 1954.
He also claimed that all residents are legal settlers.