Arrest of M’laya residents
Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday told the State Assembly that Assam did not go through procedures when police personnel from the neighbouring state entered into the State’s territory to arrest some villagers.
“Assam police did not follow protocol; they went about randomly to arrest the villagers without intimating their Meghalaya counterparts causing mayhem and insecurity amongst the villagers,” Conrad said.
The Chief Minister was replying to a Zero Hour notice on reports that around 600 villagers from the inter-state border with Assam has fled their homes fearing arrest by Assam police.
It may be mentioned that there were reports that over 600 villagers from Huhuapara in the Meghalaya side of the border fled their homes and took shelter in Malangkona.
However, Conrad, clarified that only 150 villagers had fled their homes out of which 125 are taking shelter at Christ King Parish, Malangkona while the rest are taking refuge at their relatives houses in Sildubi and Malangkona.
The Chief Minister also stated that it has been ascertained that five persons which included one woman have been taken in custody by personnel of Boko police station in Assam.
These persons have been accused of allegedly assaulting a group of engineers from Assam on September 8. On that day the officials from Assam went to the Chongga Dare waterfall to survey it for developmental purposes.
However, the villagers opposed this saying that the waterfall lies under Meghalaya.
The officials from Assam went away without conducting the survey and subsequently lodged a complaint with the Assam police.
The Chief Minister informed the House that to prevent further activity from Assam, one section of SF-10 personnel has been stationed at Malangkona and Sildubi.
Conrad also stated that on September 24, the West Khasi Hill, Superintendent of Police (SP) has written to his counterpart of Kamrup (Rural) requesting to intervene in the matter so as to bring back normalcy in the area.
Also a relief team under the Extra Assistance Commissioner, West Khasi Hills has been deployed with essential commodities and also with a medical mobile unit.
Earlier, initiating the discussion on the issue, legislator Syntar Klas Sunn quoting a report said that the markings above the waterfall show that the land belongs to Meghalaya.
The villagers have Meghalaya voter ID cards and have been getting benefits like IAY and MGNREGS from Meghalaya.
“It has now almost been two weeks since the incident took place and the villagers are afraid of returning,” Sunn said.
The Mawphlang MLA also said that one of the arrested person was differently abled and another belongs to a different village.