CM, Agatha told to follow father’s principles and resolve border villager’s issues


Tura, Feb 3: Combined groups from Garo Hills on Friday urged Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Tura MP Agatha K Sangma to follow the principles of their father Late P A Sangma and look into the problems being faced by the villagers of border areas in the state following the signing of the border MoU with Assam.

“P A Sangma, while he was the MP, always used to say that he was the first to be there whenever Garos were in difficulties. He claimed that he went to Assam, Tripura and other parts of the country and even to Bangladesh to meet them and try to address their issues. Today however, we see no such acts from the Chief Minister and the Tura MP which is an irony as they are his siblings,” FKJGP President Pritam Arengh, who was flanked by leaders of AYWO, ADE and FAF said in a video interview.

A memorandum calling for action on various incidents of harassment meted out to border villages by Assam officials after the signing of the border pact, was submitted to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on August 23 last year. Friday’s appeal by the combined groups came after no such action was taken on the matter till date.

Several incidents of harassment took place soon after the signing of the border pact including at a particular disputed village when Assam officials along with police came to an Arecanut plantation belonging to a Garo and destroyed a total of 6290 trees, claiming that the land was part of Assam.

“This is not a small number. A lot of time, labour and resources would have gone into it. Interestingly, there was no notice served by the Assam administration prior to the incident,” Arengh said.

A similar incident of harassment took place at Malang Salbari when the villagers were constructing a godown for community use when Assam officials tried to stop the construction and harass the people. There was yet another incident at Garojan village in Goalpara, Assam when Garo villagers were physically assaulted by the Assam police following a feud between two groups. A father and son duo who were bringing livestock from Dhupdhara were also apprehended in Assam. The duo were accused of smuggling cattle which was seized along with a cash of Rs 90,000/-.

“The Chief Minister is fond of saying ‘Babani Jumang’ which translates to ‘My father’s dreams’. Pursuing one’s father’s dreams is not a bad thing, but he should follow his father’s principles as well. All we asked is that the CM and the MP meet these people and try to resolve their issues. He should also take up the matter with his Assam counterpart so that their ordeal comes to an end,” Pritam said.

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