Prestone Tynsong
File photo of Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong. Image: Northeast Now

The union home ministry has summoned the Meghalaya government to Delhi for discussing the issue related to shifting of genuine settlers from Them ïew Mawlong to another location.

The MHA’s intervention came after warning from the proscribed Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) as well as strong reaction from the Harijan Panchayat Committee on the issue.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday evening, Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the MHA has called the state to discuss the issue in Delhi on Thursday to be represented by the chief secretary and principal secretary (urban affairs).

Also read: HNLC warns Meghalaya govt over illegal settlers at Them Ïew Mawlong

“It is good as we need to have a meeting between the state and the central government to know the real picture because listening to one side is not good, but listing to both sides and look at documents, you will understand what the situation is,” he said.

According to Tynsong, relocating the settlers, it does not mean throwing them out.

“They are our brothers and sisters and we want to take proper care of them and we will not allow this threat to happen,” he said.

Tynsong also stated that he has nothing to comment on the HNLC statement but said the state government does not want any group from outside to interfere into the affairs of the state.

He also said the government is there to provide security to all citizens. “We have been providing security in the area,” he added.

Tynsong also said those staying at Them ïew Mawlong are not only people from the Punjabi or Sikhs community but other populations too are staying there.

“Therefore we wanted to remove this problem once and for all, and relocation has to take place,” said Tynsong.

On Sunday, the HNLC asked the Meghalaya government not to soften its stance and take action to identify genuine and illegal settlers at Them Ïew Mawlong (Sweepers Lane) while reacting to the recent deadline given by the Harijan Panchayat Committee to the Shillong Municipal Board for issuing public notices to those residing at Them ïew Mawlong.

Tynsong said that the government is determined to find permanent solution to the long pending issue since settlers in the area are living in a horrible condition as the place is congested and very unhygienic.

The Harijan Panchayat Committee while countering the statement of the HNLC, said that the land was allotted by the Syiem (chief) of Hima Mylliem and they have stayed one generation after another for 200 years.

Tynsong said that was the reason why public notices were served to those residing at Them ïew Mawlong to come forward to submit documents to prove their claim.

Stating that plots at Them ïew Mawlong belonged to the Shillong Municipal Board and partly to the Hima Mylliem, Tynsong said there was no land dispute and “those having papers to prove their claim should go to the municipal board and produce the same.”

In June last year, the High Level Committee headed by Tynsong was formed by the Meghalaya government to find out a feasible solution to the issue.

Tynsong also urged organizations or individuals to allow the government to work, and not try to add fire.

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