From our Staff Correspondent
SHILLONG, July 5: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday sought the Union government’s intervention on the prevailing situation in the disputed Langpih village and the Centre's help to resolve the border dispute. Tribal Khasi villagers are on a fast-unto-death at Langpih.
He also sent three separate letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Minister P Chidambaram and Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi describing the ground realities currently prevailing in Langpih.
The situation in Langpih has taken a different turn after a youth activist Pynshkem Nongshlong and a dozen others along with him resorted to a ‘fast-unto-death’ to pressurize the government to come out with a concrete step to resolve the inter-State boundary row with Assam and Langpih in particular.
Nongshlong led ‘fast-unto-death’ entered the fifth day on Thursday. The Congress led government’s alleged indifference to the cause that Nongshlong stood for has drawn flaks from a cross section of people and even from its own coalition partners-the UDP and HSPDP.
On Thursday evening, the Chief Minister held a high level review meeting on the condition of those who resorted to an indefinite fast and prevailing situation at Langpih. Terming the agitation path as a matter of concern, Mukul Sangma told newsmen after the meeting: “I have taken up the issue seriously by writing to the Prime Minister, the Union Minister of Home Affairs and to the Chief Minister of Assam to express our concern over the number of incidents where the people of the area (Langpih) are subjected to harassment and to ensure that sense of security prevails there.”
Making an unqualified statement that the inputs received by the State Government suggest that the district administration of Assam should exercise restraint to prevent the people from having a perceived feeling of being harassed, Sangma also said, “I have also asked the Assam Chief Minister to have his own review meeting at his level to ensure that the spirit of the agreement we have entered is respected.”
The two chief ministers have entered an agreement that status quo should be maintained in all areas of dispute.
Strongly refuting the idea of MLA Ardent Basaiawmoit that Meghalaya should stop talking to Assam, the Chief Minister stated, “Constant engagement with our neighbouring State is imperative because it is not easy to resolve the issue overnight that has been hanging fire since the creation of the State.”
Instead, Sangma sees the State’s recent submission of the papers to Assam on the disputed areas as a gigantic step to justify the claims, even as he said that his Government had taken practical steps to expeditiously resolve the inter-State boundary issue. The Chief Minister also spoke on the need to have constant dialogue at the field level (district administration) to ensure that the agreement signed by the two States is not disturbed till an amicable solution is found.