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Now, Hima Sohra wants KHADC’s controversial notification revoked too

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The Executive Dorbar said the June 24 notification to reclassify Majai as a Raid was unwarranted

SHILLONG, July 7: In another crucial development surrounding the matter related to a KHADC notification reclassifying Majai as a Raid, the Executive Dorbar of Hima Sohra has followed the residents under Sohra Syiemship in asking the KHADC to revoke the June 24 notification reclassifying Majai as a Raid.
The Executive Dorbar decided this during its meeting held at Maraikaphon, Sohra on Saturday.
The Syiem of Hima Sohra, Freeman Sing Syiem told reporters that the Hima strongly opposed the reclassification notification. “We will not accept this notification since the decision to remove the word Raid was taken by Executive Dorbar. The residents of Sohra Syiemship have also opposed this notification,” he said.
Syiem claimed he received a petition from the general secretary of Dorbar Shnong Majai questioning the issuance of land documents (dulir) to non-Khasis and the appointment of the chairman of the village on June 30, and not on May 30, as reported. He said the Executive Dorbar was given three days to respond. “We have sought time to reply to this petition,” he added.
He also claimed he has no role in issuing the residential certificate by the headman of Lailad to non-tribals since his office has not recognised anyone under Majai as headman. The Hima only appointed the chairman in the Majai area, he insisted.
Sniffing a bid to malign his image with the false accusation, Syiem admitted that Pyniaid Sing Syiem, the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the KHADC had asked him to visit his office on June 11. He said during the meeting, he was advised to remove B.V. Rymmai as the secretary of Hima Sohra.
He said he refused to do so as only the Executive Dorbar has the authority to remove a secretary. Besides, he pointed out, there was nothing against Rymmai that warranted his removal.
He also said it is the responsibility of the Acting Sordar to report to the Hima about any self-styled chairman or headman operating in Majai.
Rymmai said the Hima Sohra did not issue any NOC to the non-tribal traders who wanted trading licenses, adding that this decision made the non-tribal traders approach the high court. “We have to understand that the authority to issue trading licenses is the council’s and not the Hima’s,” he said.
He also said the KHADC chief refused to meet him when he wanted to discuss his suggestion to the Syiem of Hima Sohra to remove him from the position of secretary.
Rymmai alleged that the CEM has been trying to infringe upon the affairs of Majai for some benefits as the area is a hub of trading and export activities to Bangladesh.
“Why is the KHADC not showing a similar interest in the affairs of the other Himas?” he asked.
Earlier, the CEM told reporters that the council had sought time from the Sohra Syiemship to think and come out with the best solution for all stakeholders.
He said this matter will be reviewed after the KHADC session later this month.
The CEM said reclassification as a Raid will not let Majai, a village under Sohra Syiemship, have its own Elaka.
“Hima, Raid, and Shnong are the three levels of administration in the traditional Khasi way of governance. The June 24 notification was aimed at strengthening the administration in the Sohra Syiemship and checking the way of functioning of the Syiem and the Executive Dorbar,” he said.
“We received complaints of outsiders getting land documents and the rampant issuance of NOCs (no objection certificates). These complaints led to the notification,” the CEM said.
On allegations that there may be some sinister agenda behind the June 24 notification since Majai is an export point, he said the residents would thank the KHADC if they read the notification.
He pointed out that during one of his visits to Majai, he found non-indigenous people carrying out businesses without trading licences while some had land documents provided by the Sohra Syiemship.
Meanwhile, the Member of the District Council from Sohra, Titosstarwell Chyne, said it has become clear that the notification of Majai as a Raid was not recommended by the Dorbar of Hima Sohra.
The notification was issued after an order from the Executive Committee of the KHADC on June 21. This order reviewed and revoked an executive order on May 7, 2020, which stated that “Majai and its administration will be looked after by the Syiem and Hima of Sohra”.
The recent notification reverts the status of Majai to ‘Raid Majai’ according to the Executive Committee’s order of June 25, 2019.
Adding to the tension, the Dorbar Shnong Majai submitted a petition to the Syiem of Sohra on May 30, which the latter said was received on June 30.
This issue is further complicated by the historical context. Former CEM, the late HS Shylla had removed Freeman Sing Syiem from his position over similar accusations of issuing land documents to non-Khasis. He was reinstated in June 2019 by the Executive Committee led by former CEM Teinwell Dkhar, with the current CEM serving as the Deputy CEM in charge of Elaka then.

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