Sikh community of Meghalaya in Shillong's Punjabi Lane area Image Credit: tribuneindia.com

The Meghalaya government on Monday showed resentment to its Punjab counterpart for providing funds for benefit of people residing in Punjabi Lane area of Shillong without informing the state government.

Last year, Shillong witnessed clashes between the Sikh folks of Punjabi Lane area and the indigenous Khasi communities over an incident of eve-teasing which led to an assault of a person from a local tribal community. The incident result in widespread violence following calls for curfew for a few months thereafter in the hill station.

While replying to a question raised by Opposition Congress legislator from East Shillong Ampareen Lyngdoh in the state legislative assembly, Meghalaya Urban Affairs Department minister Hamlet Dohling said that he is astonished to see the Punjab government had sanctioned funds directly to the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner in 2015 and 2016 without informing the state government.

As per reports, Dohling informed the house that the Punjab government had provided a fund of Rs 10 lakh for the treatment of 10 Sikh widows in 2015.

He also added that the Punjab government had sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for the construction of Guru Nanak School at Bara Bazar area in 2016

The minister said that on the utilization of the funds, the school had submitted the utilization certificate on July 31, 2017 and the construction work has been completed.

During the assembly, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Saleng A Sangma warned that if the state government allows such kind of funds to come in, Meghalaya might have to face trouble in future.

He also asked whether the state government would also accept if Nepal decides to take up development programmes at Langpih. The Meghalaya government said that it will look into the matter seriously.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma also assured the house that he will take up the issue of income tax paid by tribal youths working outside the state with the Union government.

He also informed that three projects have been sanctioned under the North Eastern Council (NEC) in the state during 2018-19 financial year.

The projects include construction of a hostel for a boarding school at Pynursla in East Khasi Hills district, construction of new building blocks for St Mary’s College of Teacher Education in the city and construction of Rymbai-Bataw-Borghat-Borsora-Jalalpur Road in East Jaintia Hills district.

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