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Lyngdoh under fire over outpost

Shillong, Dec. 13: The Meghalaya government was ripped apart by both Opposition and ruling party legislators in the state Assembly on the second day of the winter session today, after it failed to convince that a police outpost would be provided to a village along the Meghalaya-Assam boundary.

Replying to a query raised by Nartiang legislator E.C.B. Bamon during question hour, home minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh said the government has not initiated the creation of a police outpost at Psiar village.

Psiar village is in West Jaintia Hills bordering Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

The home minister said at present, the government did not feel the need of erecting a police outpost at Psiar, since the crime rate in that area was negligible.

“I feel bad listening to the reply of the minister. It is a reflection that the government does not hear the actual problems. It is a serious issue and I demand that the government should depute senior officers to the area to conduct a spot inquiry in order to know the ground reality,” Bamon reacted to H.D.R Lyngdoh’s reply.

Bamon also asked if Langpih could have a police outpost, then why not Psiar.

He said during the last Assembly session, the home minister had promised that the demand for setting up of the outpost would be examined in depth.

The Nartiang legislator brought to the notice of the government that villagers living in Psiar were constantly asked by Karbi militant outfits to pay taxes.

“Karbi outfits are creating problems for villagers in Psiar, Khatkasla, Myntang and others and farmers have to pay taxes to bring paddy and firewood,” Bamon said.

However, H.D.R Lyngdoh said the government was not aware of these issues.

Leader of Opposition Conrad K. Sangma lambasted H.D.R Lyngdoh and asked, “Are you waiting for incidents to happen before you decide to set up an outpost? Is the government waiting for people to die and waiting for ministers and legislators to be shot at?”

When deputy chief minister Rowell Lyngdoh tried to intervene by citing rules, Conrad took on the veteran Congress leader by asking, “Are rules more important than people’s lives?”

Matters came to an end when the home minister finally said the government would examine the demand for the creation of an outpost at Psiar.

It may be mentioned that the Khanduli-Psiar is one of the 12 areas of differences between Assam and Meghalaya.

The others include Upper Tarabari, Gizang reserve forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara-Pillangkata, Deshdemoreah, Block I & Block II, and Ratacherra.

These areas of differences are under West Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Ri Bhoi districts of Meghalaya.