Fast continues as HDR fails to give definite assurance
From Our Correspondent
NONGSTOIN: As scheduled, Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh led a delegation comprising Parliamentary Secretary Dr Advisor Pariong, Mawsynrut MLA Francis Pondit Sangma, KHADC Executive Member Irene Lyngdoh, West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner S Kharlyngdoh and Superintendent of Police R Muthu to Langpih on Friday.
HDR first met Pynskhemlang Nongshlong and others and tried to talk them into withdrawing their fast-unto-death but his request was outrightly rejected. Pynskhemlang stuck to his guns and said he would withdraw only when the Government gives him a written assurance that the boundary issue would be resolved.
The Home Minister said that the border issue is being actively considered by the Government but added that this long-pending issue cannot be solved overnight. He said the Government must be given some time before it takes appropriate and effective decision in this regard.
Lyngdoh told the gathering that this time the Government had built up a strong case based on valid documents that would prove beyond a doubt that Langpih belongs to Meghalaya.
HDR also stated that the Presidential polls slated for July 19 had caused some delay. The Centre is busy with the elections for the moment. The State Government would pursue the matter with the Centre after the elections. He asked the protestors to give the Government some time and assured them that the matter would be resolved this time by all means.
HDR also said he would examine the complaints of the villagers regarding the atrocities faced at the hands of the Assam Police and take appropriate action after discussion with his counterpart in Assam. He also said that this issue would also be brought to the notice of Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma.
Regarding the developmental work in Langpih, HDR said he would meet the Chief Secretary and discuss steps to speed up development.
Headman of the Hima Raid Mynsaw Hindro Samakha in his speech told HDR that the Assam Government ill-treated the villagers of Langpih and they are not allowed to even build toilets for themselves without informing the Assam Police about it.
He pointed out that according to terms of the status quo agreed upon by both Governments only developmental works were to be informed not personal constructions. He said that the Assam Government was violating the terms of the status quo and that a new status quo needs to be worked out.
Hindro also openly declared that the village haat that was prevented from being constructed at Langpih would be resumed soon and completed irrespective of what the governments’ decision is. Hindro requested the Home Minister to provide adequate security at Langpih.
Hindro also brought up the issue of the Police Outpost at Langpih. He complained that on June 29, 2012, when the Assam Police mercilessly beat the women of the village, other women ran to the Police Outpost and requested them to intervene but the Officer in Charge said that he could do nothing unless orders were issued to him to intervene.
Hindro requested HDR to upgrade the Police Outpost and to post sufficient forces in the light of its sensitive nature.
Chairman of the Synjuk ki Rangbah Shnong lambasted the Government for its inaction. He said that the people of Langpih had lost their faith and trust in the Government because of the false promises and inaction.
Others who spoke included Executive Member, KHADC Irene Lyngdoh and Rambrai MDC KP Pangniang.