All boundary issues may not be resolved: Conrad

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma. (ST)

SHILLONG, March 24: Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said the MDA government may not be able to settle all the issues along the boundary with Assam but would try to resolve them as much as possible.
He said this after some allies of the National People’s Party advised the government to revisit the areas where resentment has cropped up during the process of resolving the boundary issue in six of the 12 disputed areas.
“We have discussed with all our coalition partners and we have shared the information. It will always be our endeavour to see how we can find a solution and ensure that all concerns are met, but there will always be limitations,” Sangma said on Thursday.
“We have gone through a heavy exercise in the last six months. We may not be able to resolve all the issues but we will always try and resolve as far as possible.”
While many villagers have been expressing resentment over the prospect of being tagged with Assam, the NPP’s allies are dissuading the government from taking any step that goes against the interest of the border residents.
The United Democratic Party (UDP) asked the state government to re-examine the issue after some affected villagers, Raids and a few Himas protested the government’s decision to leave them out of Meghalaya.
The party urged the two states to refrain from going against the wishes and sentiments of the border residents and take all stakeholders on board to formulate a new agreement acceptable to all parties.
The Bharatiya Janata Party echoed similar sentiments and stated that any solution without the mutual agreement of the border residents will be an injustice.
Scores of residents of the villages – Malchapara and Salbari with 100% Garo ethnicity under Nonglang Sirdarship, Gizang in West Khasi Hills – took out a protest rally demanding that the state government withdraw the decision while some traditional leaders sought the intervention of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC).
Fifteen Dorbar Raids in the Ri-Bhoi district along with the villagers and landowners supported by the Hima Mylliem are planning to demonstrate against the decision of the NPP-led government to finalise the boundary deal in six of the disputed areas. They claim that they were neither consulted nor asked for their opinion by the state government before the memorandum of understanding with Assam was signed.
Residents of Maikhuli village and the Dorbar Shnong of Paham Kanchoh are also opposing this MoU.