Helping those moving SC against MoU: Pala

SHILLONG, Sep 17: State Congress chief Vincent H Pala on Saturday said he is extending all support and help to those approaching the Supreme Court against the boundary agreement signed between Meghalaya and Assam governments.
“Many people came to meet me. They want to go to the Supreme Court and I am helping them as what they (government) have done on the border issue is very bad,” Pala said.
Questioning the logic behind the “imposition” of the pact on the border residents which made them stage protests, a visibly angry Pala said in the Sixth Schedule area, the land belongs to people but the pact will take away all their rights as their land will go to Assam.
Stating that the issue is critical and the map of Meghalaya is becoming smaller, he said, “They have to know the history. They should have conducted public hearings and a social impact assessment but they just notified. And when they went to the border, Assam dictated them. It is totally a sell-out”.
Pala said those in power are in good terms with Assam and doing things but in the long run, some prime properties of Meghalaya will be lost forever due to this pact.
He said if the Congress returns to power, it will “rethink” the boundary pact. He said the party will also not allow casinos to come up in the state and frame policies according to the needs of the people.
The two state governments had signed a memorandum of understanding on March 29 to seal the “fifty-fifty” deal on six “less complicated” areas in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. However, the border residents rejected the agreement after claiming that these lands traditionally belonged to Meghalaya tribal chiefs but were ceded to Assam. Earlier, the United Democratic Party, a component of the ruling coalition, had asked the state government to revisit the pact in those areas where people stand opposed to it.
The two states will try to resolve the dispute in the remaining six “complicated” areas in the second phase.

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