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KSU for action on border militants

Meghalaya home minister Roshan Warjri meets KSU leaders in Shillong on Friday. Picture by UB Photos

Shillong, May 23: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) today urged the Meghalaya government to take immediate action against Karbi militant outfits operating along the state’s boundary with Assam.

The demand was made by a delegation of the union during a meeting with home minister Roshan Warjri at the state secretariat today.

According to the delegation, the outfits are active in Umtlieh in Ri Bhoi district and have been extorting money from local Khasi residents.

The area is along Block-II of the inter-state boundary.

“They (outfits) are involved in extortion from our people by serving demand notes and threaten them with dire consequences. We feel the suppression and harassment on our people will only lead to communal conflict,” KSU president Daniel Khyriem said in a memorandum to Warjri.

The union asked the government to provide permanent armed police personnel in the area.

Moreover, the union brought to the notice of the government the frequent harassment by Assam police personnel in Moolber area under East Jaintia Hills and Umtlieh in Ri Bhoi district.

“The issue has been raised in the past and it has been agreed, in principle, for the need to set up police outposts all along the sensitive border areas we share with Assam to protect our people from such unjustified persecution,” the union said.

Expressing dismay at the delay in implementing the decision, the KSU demanded that police outposts be set up immediately along the sensitive border areas.

The union was surprised by the government’s decision to remove the Kyrshai police outpost in West Khasi Hills bordering Assam.

“The police outpost was placed in the area to protect the people from continual harassment by Assam police personnel and the repeated attempts of the Assam government to encroach into our state,” the union said.

Stating that the decision was “illogical”, the union demanded the immediate restoration of the police outpost.

It is learnt that the nodal officers of both Assam and Meghalaya and who are dealing with inter-state boundary issues will be meeting in Guwahati on May 30 to discuss various concerns. The issues raised by the union are also likely to discussed at the meeting.

Several contentious issues have plagued inter-state relations in respect of the boundary although both sides have been maintaining status quo. In the past, there were numerous incidents, which allegedly led to the harassment of people by various forces from Assam.

There are at least 12 areas of difference, including Langpih, Upper Tarabari, Gizang reserve forest, Hahim, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah, Blocks I and II, Khanduli-Psiar and Ratacherra.

They cover an area of around 2,700 square km, of which the two blocks cover around 1,500 square km.