Khasis-Jaintias in Barak Valley region demand devp council

Panel appeals CM to act as mediator

SHILLONG, Dec 2: Residents of Barak Valley, Assam, under the aegis of the Khasi-Jaintia Development Council Demand Committee (KJDCDC), met Chief Minister Conrad Sangma here today seeking his intervention to further their demand.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, president of KJDCDC, S. Pakyntein said that they have been spearheading the demand for a development council since 2011.
“The chief minister has assured to discuss the matter with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma”, Pakyntein said, while expressing optimism that the demand will be fulfilled at the right time.
KSU general secretary Donald Thabah, who accompanied the delegation, said the committee is demanding constitution of a development council for the Khasi-Jaintia people residing in Barak Valley, comprising the three districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj.
Stating that the Assam government has been granting development councils to various minority tribes, Thabah said, “Khasis being one of the minority tribes in Assam deserve a development council like other tribes in that state.”
He said that through the council, grants were provided by the government of Assam for the purpose of creation of basic amenities like health, infrastructure, roads, communication and electricity.
“If you go to the Khasi villages of Barak Valley, they are mostly located in hilly and remote areas with improper connectivity; and with no roads or water supply there is literally zero development in those areas”, he said adding that if the Assam government give nod to the development council, the dignity of the Khasis and Jaintias will be enhanced.
He revealed that the KJDCDC met the chief minister with an appeal to act as a mediator and facilitate the development council for the Khasis and Jaintias living in Barak Valley.
In the memorandum submitted to the chief minister, the KJDCDC informed that the population of the Khasi-Jaintia tribe is more than 1.70 lakh spread over 375 villages in the most interior parts of Barak Valley far away from the mainstream and without proper amenities.

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