Group raises issue of 3 villages left out of border MoU with CM

Tura, Jan 27: In the wake of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma reportedly assuring to bring about a solution to the border dispute between Meghalaya and Assam, the ADE from Tura on Friday raised the issue of three villages which do not come under the disputed 12 villages but were excluded from Meghalaya as per the border MoU.

The association in a statement, while appreciating the government’s efforts to bring about a solution to the 12 villages in dispute between the state and Assam, pointed out that apart from the said villages  Malankona Joypur, Malangkona Salbari and Malangkona Huhuapara were excluded from Meghalaya in the MoU.

“These villages have never been in dispute and the people of these villages are living as Meghalayans from the origin of this state. From the time unknown, Malangkona area is known to be the land (A’king) of the N. Sangmas (Nongbak A’king). The British declared this region under the Sixth Schedule and therefore no dispute should surface regarding its adherence to Meghalaya. Why were these villages offered to Assam on a silver plate? Is something running behind the curtain that we do not know of?” ADE president Dalseng Bira Ch Momin said.

Momin, while pointing out that since the protest by combined organizations in March 2022, requests were made to the government to take them along in its decisions but the same was ignored and the MoU signed without their consent and knowledge.

Momin added that during Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s meeting with leaders of organizations both from Garo Hills and Khasi Hills in Shillong, the former had assured to look into the matter and take necessary steps. “However, nothing has been done on the matter till date,” he said, while questioning the genuineness of the promise.

On the claim made by the Chief Minister through social media clips that there had been interaction with people from the affected areas on the issue and that they had willfully accepted Assam citizenship, Momin said that it was ‘not accurate’.

“Villages which we have mentioned were never visited but those villages which are accustomed with Assam for many years were visited and it is obvious that they will opt for staying in Assam. But the people from those three villages who are carrying Meghalaya EPICs, studying in various institutions in Meghalaya, having land registrations of Meghalaya, offering their services in different government sectors can never accept exclusion from their motherland for an erroneous MOU signed in a hurry,” Momin said, while question if the Chief Minister was engaging in popular politics merely to attract voters.

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