WKH panel to visit border post puja

Inspection will be jointly with Kamrup district panel

SHILLONG, Oct 13: The regional committees on border disputes for West Khasi Hills and Kamrup districts are likely to conduct another joint visit after the puja celebration.
Minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar, who is the chairperson of the regional committee for West Khasi Hills, said they are planning another joint visit after the puja celebration. He said he will talk to his Assam counterpart and minister Atul Bora in this regard.
Tongkhar said a date, suitable for both sides, will be fixed. He said they will visit villages that were not covered during the first visit.
“We have already inspected eight villages. Residents of many other villages had come to one area to express their views and opinions. So, we got to meet them without visiting their villages,” he said.
Tongkhar described the ongoing efforts as positive. “I am hoping that we can solve a minimum of 50% of the problems in areas falling under our committee”.
“The solution has to be acceptable to both sides. We wish that the people from Meghalaya stay in Meghalaya but that has to be acceptable to Assam,” Tongkhar said.
On the give-and-take policy, he said, “Many people object to the phraseology. I will not use it but we will try to find an amicable solution. If we really want it, we have to respect each other or else, solution will continue to elude us”.
Talking about the assertions made by various leaders that not an inch of land should be given to Assam, he said, “People, including me, will not understand the real problems being faced by the border residents. We have to respect their views and opinions”.
Stating that the committees are visiting the places to try and understand the problems, he said people should first understand the ground reality before commenting.
On the protest by border residents in Ri Bhoi during the recent joint visit of the committees, the minister said, “We are concerned. People are free to express their views and opinions but the visit alone will not determine their fate. People can still come and express their mind. We welcome them”.
Asked how well the committee is equipped
with historical facts and documentation, Tongkhar said, “We have the documents to claim and Assam too has its own to assert its claim”.
Tongkhar said the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government wants to resolve the disputes within its current term. He is hopeful that if not all, the two sides will be able to partially resolve the problems by going beyond status quo.
“It will be too early to say in how many areas and villages we will be able to solve the problems but I have high hopes. I hope the disputes in some locations can be resolved within this year,” he added.

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