From our Staff Correspondent
SHILLONG, July 11: Activist Pynskhem Nongshlong, who resorted to an indefinite hunger strike to pressurize the State Government to resolve the Langpih (Lumpi) issue, rejected the government’s assurance letter to resolve the inter-State boundary row with Assam. His rejection to the letter dispatched by the State Department of Home was accompanied by his vow to continue with his fast that entered the twelfth day on Wednesday. Meanwhile, five other activists who were admitted at the Shillong Civil Hospital after their health deteriorated, were released on Wednesday. All of them decided to go back to Langpih and resume the fast. Seven other people also joined 28-year old Nongshlong’s indefinite fast today. Rejecting the letter of assurance of the State Government on the timely resolution to the inter-State boundary dispute, Nongshlong said, “When I first announced the fast-unto-death I already said that if there is any kind of assurance it should come in the form of joint statement by both the governments of Assam and Meghalaya.” The other contention of the people supporting Nongshlong is how could the Meghalaya Government give an assurance when Assam continued to turn a blind eye to the controversial issue?
On Thursday there will be a meeting between the participants of the fast-unto-death and residents of Langpih and the neighbouring areas on the issue of the government’s letter of assurance.
Meanwhile the letter issued by the government stated, “The Government of Meghalaya would continue as it has done in the recent past to give highest priority to the long-term solution to the border issue with Assam.”
Points on the letter of assurance by the State Government
1. The Government of Meghalaya re-strategized through a more calibrated plan of action for favourable settlement of this issue.
2. Government reiterates that it shall give highest importance to the solution of the boundary issue at earliest possible.
3. The State Government is committed to provide peace and security to the residents of the area and has taken steps in this regard.
4. That the State Government will take up the matter relating to obstruction of activities related to construction as extension of dwelling units and community infrastructure such as Durbar hall and Market Complex and other developmental works of the Community. Further a special developmental package has been initiated for the areas bordering Assam which is expected to be sanctioned expeditiously. The construction of the road to Langpih which has already been sanctioned by the State Government will also be expedited.
5. The State Government would take up vigorously the issue of forceful occupation of a building belonging to a private individual at Langpih by the Assam Police at the appropriate levels.
6. The State Government will take up with the Government of Assam the matter of entry of new settlers into Langpih since 2010 till date in violation of the Chief Minister’s level agreement of May 2010 which bars any fresh settlement into the areas.
7. The State Government has taken up the matter with the Central Government seeking immediate intervention in this matter.