Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Mukroh fallout: Border talks set to be delayed


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SHILLONG, Nov 29: Complications arising out of the Mukroh incident have delayed the process to resolve the border disputes between Meghalaya and Assam in the remaining six sectors in the second phase.
“A meeting was expected this week, but the unfortunate incident took place and now the situation is a little complicated. We may not be able to go for talks immediately,” Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said on Tuesday.
The first round of meetings with the regional committees in the second phase of talks to resolve the interstate border dispute was expected to be held by November.
Meghalaya and Assam initiated the second phase of the chief minister-level discussions earlier this year to resolve the border issues in the remaining six disputed sites. The second phase was expected to follow the route adopted for the first phase entailing six of the “less complicated” sectors. “We are committed to resolving the issue and we want to work as fast as possible so that such incidents do not happen in the future,” he said.
Referring to the Mukroh incident, Sangma said: “Because of the unfortunate incident, the circumstances have changed. We will have to take some time to have discussions with the governments of Assam and India.”

CM snubs HM’s resignation call
The growing demand for Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui’s resignation in the wake of the Mukroh incident seems to have cut no ice with the CM saying it is not the time for the political parties to score brownie points.
“Political parties may demand but I feel this is not the time for blame game or for trying to derive political mileage,” he said.
“This situation was unprovoked and thus not expected. Many steps have been taken by the government to normalise the situation,” Sangma said, adding, “As leaders, we need to set politics aside and work together to bring back normalcy.”
A day after the Mukroh incident, UDP working president Paul Lyngdoh asked his party colleague (Rymbui) to own moral responsibility for failing to protect the lives of the people of the state and step down from his position. The pressure groups and other political parties soon echoed Lyngdoh.
The state Congress demanded a public apology from Sangma and the resignation of Rymbui for neglecting the people of Mukroh, which led to the loss of five lives at the hands of the Assam police.
Last month, the UDP leaders met party president Metbah Lyngdoh and asked him to have Rymbui dropped from the Cabinet for the excessive force used by the police personnel on unarmed LP school teachers.
In August 2021, Rymbui tendered his resignation following massive backlash over the killing of former HNLC leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew by the police at his residence in the Mawlai Kynton Massar locality.
The CM refused to accept Rymbui’s resignation.

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