The Khasi Students Union (KSU) and villagers residing along Meghalaya-Assam border staged a sit-in-protest on Wednesday in Shillong against the recent murder of a person at Khlieh Umwang village in Ri Bhoi district bordering Assam.
The protestors asked the Meghalaya government to come clear whether it can provide protection or not to Khasi people residing in areas along the inter-state boundary.
The Union would also move Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to seek his intervention in view of the frequent aggressive acts on the part of Assam in areas along the inter-state boundary.
“The present Meghalaya government should not shy away on this issue or take excuse that it is a government of only few months old. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure security of people along the inter-state boundary be it Langpih, Block-I, Block-II and other places,” KSU president, Lambokstarwell Marngar said while addressing protesters at the venue of the sit in demonstration near additional secretariat here.
“How many more lives of Khasi people have to be lost due to this ongoing inter-state boundary dispute with Assam?” Marngar asked while recalling the killing of Khasi villager, Tyngshaiñ Mukhim at Khlieh Umwang village in Ri-Bhoi district bordering West Karbi Anglong district, and the firing incident that claimed the lives of four Khasi villagers on May 14, 2010 at Langpih in West Khasi Hills district, bordering Kamrup district, Assam.
Mukhim succumbed to injuries on September 12 after he was assaulted by one Romesh Thapa on September 9.
According to Marngar if there is shortage of police personnel who should be posted along the inter-state boundary, the Meghalaya government should make its stand clear as the public are ready to guard themselves against any kind of aggressive acts in areas along the inter-state boundary.
Marngar said that the Union would no longer submit memorandum on the contentious issue but would wait for the Meghalaya government to show its action.
“We feel ashamed to celebrate statehood day and it is irony that we did not have our own boundary since 1972 till date. The governments of Assam and Meghalaya should show willingness to discuss and find solution to the problem and Meghalaya had already submitted documents on the areas of difference,” Marngar said.
He said that the union would seek appointment with the Assam chief minister to apprise him of the problems and to seek his intervention as Khasi people residing in areas along the inter-state boundary face various problems and Assam should honour the ‘status quo.’
Chief of Raid Nongtung, Nomiwell Shadap expressed his dismay over the “soft attitude” of Meghalaya in as far as the boundary issue is concerned and urged the people to stand united in pressurizing the governments to find solution.
“Villages under Raid Nongtung fall under Hima Khyrim and we are not under Assam. We have documents to prove that,” Shadap said, as he praised hill state leader, late Hoping Stone Lyngdoh who had opposed the creation of Meghalaya without boundary.
KSU general secretary Donald V Thabah said that the union would first adopt peaceful means of protest, and the central executive committee would soon discuss future course of action.