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Six disputed border villages under Boko to boycott polls

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Boko, April 10: Six villages under the Boko constituency in Assam, which fall within the border dispute area have decided to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha elections to demand joining the state of Meghalaya.
The villages in question fall under Kamrup district.
In a massive rally Wednesday afternoon, villagers from Damrang, Garopara, Rongchikona, Watre, Phalukmari and Dokolgre, met at the Damrang Borjuli ME School premises to register their protest and make their intention clear – to not vote in Assam for the upcoming MP election.
“In 2021 various news channels had reported that to settle the border dispute between Assam and Meghalaya, opinions of our 8-9 villages in the disputed areas on which state to go with would be taken. All of us, being villages belonging to the Garo community have wanted to move to Meghalaya but despite our requests, this has not happened,” said a villager during the protest.
“On November 22, 2021, we were all called by leaders and representatives of both states (which included MLAs and ministers) where we were told that the villages will be given a choice to either remain in Assam or join Meghalaya. Upon their assurances, 13 of our villages met and decided to join Meghalaya. However, of the 13 villages, 6 of us have been left out,” said local leader, Somith Sangma.
Following them being left out from joining Meghalaya, the villagers stated that they have moved from pillar to post to join the state. They approached the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma on multiple occasions on the same matter and despite assurances to look into the issue, nothing concrete has come.
The villagers also met the Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Minister Atul Bora, who had come during the initial stage to speak to them but have been left disappointed by the response of the Assam government.
“As people of the same tribe, we want to join Meghalaya and we appeal to both CMs to allow us to join with the Meghalaya state. We are serious about our demand and to show our seriousness, we have decided to boycott voting in Assam for the upcoming MP elections in May,” added another resident, Biswa Sangma.
The villagers felt there was a need for both states to meet up once again and look into their demand to allow for the transition of their villages into Meghalaya for the betterment of themselves and their children.

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