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KHADC on the offensive

Shillong, July 8: A meeting of all members of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) today resolved to serve an ultimatum to the Meghalaya government to step up security for ensuring security and safety of villagers residing along the Meghalaya-Assam border.

KHADC members from all parties, including the Opposition Congress, attended the meeting and had a threadbare discussion on the alleged atrocities meted out to Khasi villagers residing along the inter-state border, including threats from militants based in Assam’s Karbi Anglong.

Council chief executive member Ardent M. Basaiawmoit told reporters that the meeting has adopted a few resolutions, including submission of a representation to the Meghalaya government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of the people.

The meeting decided that all the 29 members of the council would visit the border villages, especially the areas where people have been facing frequent harassment and hardships such as Raid Nongtung in Ri Bhoi, Langpih and other areas.

“At present, the meeting focused mainly on ensuring security and safety of the people and the council’s next step would be to pursue the issue of boundary dispute,” Basaiawmoit said.

He said the council would serve an ultimatum to the Meghalaya government to ensure safety and security of the villagers on the day the representation is submitted.

“We will first meet the state government and the council will also knock on the Centre’s door on the issue,” Basaiawmoit said.

The KHADC chief also said it was the responsibility of both Meghalaya and Assam governments to ensure safety of the people along the border.

He also said the council would take up the issue with counterparts in Assam (Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council) and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.

Leader of Opposition in the KHADC and Congress leader Pynshngaińlang N. Syiem said there are a number of issues that the Opposition would jointly work with the executive committee in order to address the problems faced by the people, including those encountered by border residents.

“This is a beginning and we have to be united on a number of issues concerning our people,” Syiem, the former chief executive member, said.