Meghalaya word on Sikh safety
Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday urged Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma to ensure that there was no “forced relocation” of Sikhs living here.
Badal, along with a delegation of Shiromani Akali Dal legislator from Delhi Manjinder S. Sirsa, who is also the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, met Conrad at his Delhi residence. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Gobind Singh Longowal was also part of the delegation. The team was assured that required safety will be provided to the Sikhs at Them Ïew Mawlong here.
Following the meeting, Badal tweeted, “I thank Meghalaya CM @SangmaConrad for assuring the safety of ShillongSikhs threatened with dire consequences by hardline HNLC faction. The CM has assured to find an amicable solution to the crisis. I have also urged him to ensure there is no forced relocation of Sikhs frm (from) Shillong.”
Sirsa, on the other hand, said Conrad had assured that no injustice would be done to the minority Sikhs.
The meeting came a day after the Punjab government announced that it would send delegation to the Meghalaya capital to take stock of the issues concerning settlers at Them Ïew Mawlong. The four-member delegation of the Punjab government would be led by water resources minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria.
Earlier, a delegation of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee met home minister James P.K. Sangma here and it urged the Meghalaya government not to remove the genuine settlers of Them Ïew Mawlong and allow them to build proper shelters in the locality.
The Meghalaya government had built quarters for the residents, especially those working with the Shillong Municipal Board.
The Union home ministry had also met Meghalaya officials in Delhi where they had shared a report about the situation of the Them Ïew Mawlong residents.
The fresh concern over the settlers came after the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) had warned the residents of the area and asked the government not to go soft in identifying illegal settlers at Them Ïew Mawlong.
The HNLC’s reaction came after the Harijan Panchayat Committee, a body representing the residents of the area, issued a legal notice to the Shillong Municipal Board, which had carried out an inventory survey and pasting of official notices in the Harijan Colony.
The Harijan Panchayat Committee had also alleged that the Meghalaya government was hell-bent on evicting the settlers.
However, the Meghalaya government has been maintaining that it was working on a permanent solution to relocate genuine settlers from Them Ïew Mawlong to a better place since the area is congested and unhygienic.