Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hima Sohra told to revoke docs issued to non-Khasis


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Row over Majai reclassification sets tongues wagging at KHADC session

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, July 10: The Chief Executiwve Member (CEM) of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Pyniaid Sing Syiem, has issued an ultimatum to Hima Sohra, requiring the submission of all original land documents (dulir) issued to non-Khasis in Majai by July 15. This directive comes in response to Hima Sohra’s deadline on July 7, following their Executive Dorbar meeting, demanding the revocation of the June 24 notification reclassifying Majai as a Raid.
During a zero-hour discussion on the first day of the Council’s summer session, UDP MDC Jambor War raised concerns about the issue. In his reply, the CEM emphasised that Hima Sohra must comply with the Council’s ultimatum and cancel all land documents issued to non-Khasis. He explained that the Council decided to review the matter after allegations surfaced that Hima Sohra had allotted land to non-Khasis. Syiem mentioned that they obtained a copy of a land document showing that Hima Sohra allocated land to one Hari Krishna Roy in 2020.
Recalling past actions, Syiem noted that in 2019, the Council removed Freeman Sing Syiem, the Syiem of Hima Sohra, over similar accusations.
However, he was reinstated in June 2019 following an inquiry report. The Executive Committee’s June 25, 2019, order set 11 conditions for the Syiem of Hima Sohra, including prohibiting non-indigenous Khasis from owning land contrary to the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act, 1972.
Additionally, any land documents issued in violation of this Act were to be cancelled, and no residential certificates or NOCs could be issued without the nomination of the Sordar of Raid Majai. The order also required proper accounting of costs and revenue collection in Raid Majai, with a share allocated to the Sordar and his Executive Dorbar.
However, recent complaints from pressure groups in Hima Sohra alleged that land was again being allotted to non-tribals. Syiem explained that the Executive Order of May 7, 2020, which revoked the 2019 order, allowed the Syiem to issue land documents to non-Khasis. The 2020 order removed nine of the 11 conditions set in 2019.
Syiem clarified that the Council cannot create a new Raid, noting that the recognition of Raid Majai by Hima Sohra was first given in 1989 and reconfirmed on March 15, 2013. He assured residents that the council is not trying to weaken Hima Sohra and urged patience while a solution acceptable to all is found.
Earlier, during the zero-hour discussion, Leader of Opposition Titosstarwell Chyne pointed out that the June 24 notification reclassifying Majai as a Raid had caused an uproar among Sohra Syiemship residents. He emphasised that the Council’s role is to approve Raids created by the Hima, not to create new ones, and expressed concerns that the reclassification could lead to illegal trading activities detrimental to the Khasi indigenous population.
The controversy began with a KHADC notification on June 24, following an EC order on June 21, which reviewed and revoked the executive order dated May 7, 2020. This recent notification reinstated Majai’s status as ‘Raid Majai’ per the June 25, 2019, Executive Committee order. Further complicating matters, a petition was submitted on May 30 by the general secretary of Dorbar Shnong Majai to the Syiem of Sohra, questioning the issuance of a land document to a non-Khasi and the appointment of a Chairman in the village.
Hima Sohra meeting next week
Hima Sohra has announced a meeting next week to address the KHADC’s ‘failure’ to revoke the June 24 notification that reclassified Majai as a Raid. The meeting will be held at the Hima Sohra office in Sohra on July 15 at 12 noon, as stated by the Syiem of Hima Sohra, Freeman Sing Syiem.
The decision to hold the meeting comes after the KHADC did not meet the July 9 deadline set by Hima Sohra to rescind the notification. Syiem of Hima Sohra criticised the council for issuing the notification without the knowledge or approval of the Executive Dorbar. Additionally, Hima Sohra had sent a legal representation to the KHADC on June 28 regarding this matter.
Freeman Sing Syiem also mentioned that the meeting will include the Sordar, Rangbah Shnong, and elders of Hima Sohra to discuss the council’s non-compliance. “We will deliberate on how to move forward to pressurize the council to comply with our demand,” Syiem added.


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