|The chief of Raid Nongtung hands over a memorandum to KHADC chief executive member Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit during a public meeting at Madan Umwang village in Ri Bhoi district on Tuesday and (right) an Assam police officer seen taking down the name of a villager at the public meeting. Pictures by UB Photos
Shillong, July 29: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) will approach the Centre and the Meghalaya government to prove security to Khasi residents residing in “disputed” areas along the Assam-Meghalaya border.
Around 22 council members, led by chief executive member Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, held a public meeting at Madan Umwang village under Raid Nongtung in Ri Bhoi district.
The area is considered to be under Block-II along the inter-state boundary.
According to Basaiawmoit, the purpose of the visit was to listen to the grievances of the people residing in those areas so that the council could take up the issues with the state government or any other authority.
However, he said the main issue at hand was concerning the security of the Khasi residents.
“We told the villagers that they should not be afraid to come forward and provide us with specific information regarding security threats,” Basaiawmoit said.
The security threats could be from either militant outfits or Assam police personnel.
Assam police personnel were present at the meeting and were seen taking down the names of villagers. In the past, there have been allegations that the Assam police personnel were harassing the people.
Recently, there were reports that Karbi militant outfits were active in and around the Umtlieh area, and had been allegedly extorting money from local Khasi residents.
Stating that the meeting did not discuss the settlement issue as it was beyond the council’s jurisdiction, Basaiawmoit said the council would approach the Centre, the state government or any other authority to ensure that security was provided to the residents.
He also said the purpose of the meeting was to instil a sense of confidence among the people residing in the villages under Raid Nongtung.
The boundary dispute between Meghalaya and Assam has been lingering for decades with no solution at hand.
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.