Govt yet to take possession of land at Harijan Colony

SHILLONG, Oct 18: The Meghalaya Government is yet to take possession of the 2.5 acres of land at Harijan Colony despite a commitment made by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on October 7 that the government would take over the land “within a week”.
An official on Monday confirmed that the government is moving to complete the “due process” at the earliest.
The CM had also asserted that the government was ready to challenge in a court any order issued by any commission for maintaining status quo on the relocation of Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong.
The National Commission for Minorities had recently directed the government to maintain status quo in the matter as ordered by the High Court of Meghalaya on April 9, 2021.
Asked if any appeal would be filed in the Court challenging the status quo orders, Advocate General Amit Kumar said there is no need to challenge any status quo order and the government will only modify its stand before the Court that the residents will be evicted in accordance with the law.
Stating that the Court has given liberty to the government to remove them in accordance with the law, Kumar said that the Government will follow all legal procedures.
“We cannot use force to evict them,” Kumar said while informing that the necessary procedure in this regard would begin once the High Court reopens.
On Sunday, State Planning Board Chairman Lambor Malngiang had urged Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma not to allow people from outside to meddle with the decision of the state government to relocate the settlers of the Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong.
The government decision to relocate residents of Harijan Colony comes in the wake of the recommendations submitted by the High-Level Committee (HLC) in the form of a report to the state government on September 28.
The HLC was constituted by the state government on June 4, 2018 to find a feasible solution for relocation of Harijan Colony from Iew Mawlong following clashes that spiralled into a violent unrest that crippled life in the city for weeks.

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