| Ardent Basaiawmoit with security officials before the meeting in Shillong on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Shillong, July 24: The People’s Movement, a conglomerate of social organisations, pressure groups, civil society and public representatives on the inter-state boundary imbroglio, today threatened to intensify its agitation if the Meghalaya government fails to guarantee security to the people living in villages bordering Assam.
The group held a public meeting here this evening as part of its move to garner more public support to press for a solution to the imbroglio.
“The People’s Movement has decided to attend the all-party-meet called by the state government to discuss the boundary row with Assam. However, if it fails to give us an assurance about safeguarding the interest and security of the border villagers, we will intensify our agitation,” movement chairman and United Democratic Party legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit said at the meeting.
The state government has convened a meeting of all political parties tomorrow here to discuss the imbroglio.
Criticising the government for its failure to stop Assam from being aggressive on the border villagers, Basaiawmoit said every time he wanted the state to be proactive in solving the border row, the standard reply from the secretariat would be: “let us maintain the status quo”.
“Does maintaining status quo mean that Assam can keep on encroaching into Meghalaya, and we remain silent spectators,” Basaiawmoit asked. He expressed concern over the apathetic attitude of the state government towards the demand of the villagers of Raid Nongtung in Ri Bhoi district to enrol themselves in the electoral rolls of Meghalaya and also to have a polling station in the area.
The leader also exhorted the people to rally behind the movement and to apply pressure on the government, to find a resolution to the disputed boundary row. “The movement does not belong to any political party or NGO. It is a movement of the people. The objective is to bring the people of the state on the streets to protest for the resolution of the boundary dispute,” Basaiawmoit said.