Saturday, April 13, 2024

Assam flexes its muscle yet again in Ri-Bhoi, MLA alerts Conrad


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NONGPOH, March 24: The simmering tension on the fragile interstate border between Meghalaya and Assam has escalated yet again with the Assam government taking assertive actions in the villages of Maikhuli and Hawla, nestled within the Jirang constituency of Ri-Bhoi district.
Flexing its muscle on Meghalaya territory, Assam authorities removed a signboard from the fishing pond at Maikhuli and obstructed the ongoing projects of the Water Resources Department of Meghalaya in Hawla village. These actions have sparked outrage among local inhabitants and evoked a strong criticism from Jirang legislator Sosthenes Sohtun.
Sohtun wasted no time in apprising Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma of the volatile situation after personally inspecting both Hawla and Maikhuli villages over the weekend. He directed the Ri-Bhoi deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police to initiate a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
The Water Resources Department’s project in Hawla village has been plagued by interruptions from Assam authorities for a considerable period. Furthermore, the recent removal of the signboard at the Maikhuli fishing pond, a project under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), has drawn sharp rebuke from the local legislator.
Sohtun, in his address to the media, expressed concern over the  actions of the Assam government officials, underscoring the ongoing border negotiations between Meghalaya and Assam. He urged the chief minister to engage with his Assam counterpart to resolve the issue.
Furthermore, Sohtun informed that following discussions between the deputy commissioner of Ri-Bhoi and his counterpart from Kamrup, the latter has agreed to install a new signboard at the Maikhuli fishing pond, replacing the one that was removed.
Sohtun has asked the Ri-Bhoi DC to instruct the Block Development Officer of Umling C&RD Block to erect a new signboard.
He also commended the steadfastness of Maikhuli residents in resisting encroachments by the Assam government. He expressed optimism that with the intervention of the chief minister, the Water Resources project in Hawla village would recommence, thereby benefitting the border communities.


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