Fast over Langpih enters Day Eight - No solution to imbroglio in sight

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 9.07.12
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Shillong, July 8: The fast-unto-death undertaken by 28-year-old Pynskhemlang Nongshlong has entered the eighth consecutive day today with no clear solution in sight to resolve the long-pending border dispute between Meghalaya and Assam.

Amid the grim situation, the People’s Movement — a conglomerate of social organisations, civil society and public representatives — has said the failure of the state government to convince the activists to call off their fast was a reflection that they have “completely lost confidence” in the government.

Since June 30, Nongshlong, along with 13 others, launched the fast at Langpih, deemed a disputed area, on the fringes of West Khasi Hills-Kamrup districts to press for an early settlement to the imbroglio.

Of the 14 activists, eight are currently undergoing treatment at Shillong civil hospital. Sources said even Nongshlong’s health has deteriorated because of dehydration.

On Friday, state home minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh was deputed by chief minister Mukul Sangma to appeal to the activists to call off the fast as the government claimed to have undertaken several exercises to resolve the boundary dispute.

However, Lyngdoh failed to convince Nongshlong who wanted a written assurance from the government, which should spell a definite timeframe for the resolution of the conflict.

Yesterday, the People’s Movement sent a missive to the chief minister, wherein it asked the government to act more on the border row to bring back confidence of the people.

The reply was made after the chief minister had sent a response to the memorandum submitted by the People’s Movement on Thursday.

In the letter, People’s Movement chairman and UDP legislator Ardent M. Basaiawmoit said, “That the steps highlighted in your letter are not new to the members of the Movement. The Movement feels that despite the sincere attempts made by our state government, the people living along the border areas continue to suffer extremely.”

Basaiawmoit also said the group was of the view that Assam is the “aggressor” which has always indulged in various excesses.

“Hence, the submission of detailed documentation for justification of our claim to the Assam government is found to be ridiculous,” the Movement’s leader added.

“That the failure of the government to understand the need to suspend any kind of dialogue with Assam is regrettable. The Movement believes that the demand for the intervention by the Centre is justifiable,” he added.

The Movement also wanted to know about the stance of the Centre and the Assam government on the current situation at Langpih.

Basaiawmoit said the Movement could nto negotiate with the fast-unto-death activists because of the absence of a clear assurance on the part of the government to comply with the demands of the Movement.

“This is important because of the fact that members of the Movement are fully aware and knew the mind of the activists that they will only call off their agitation after due consideration to its demand,” he added.