SHILLONG: The Garo Students' Union (GSU) has accused officials from Assam of encroaching into land belonging to Meghalaya in the village of Moishaldanga under West Garo Hills (WGH) district.
The GSU, which stated that the matter needed to be probed by the State government, expressed surprise that the act of "conspiracy" took place while a nationwide lockdown is in place.
"We wanted to bring this to the notice of the government as the State shares 884.9 kms border with Assam and there are critical border disputes between the two States," said president of GSU, Tengsak Momin.
As per the GSU, on May 18, a team consisting of the Lad Mondol of South Salmara, Nurul Islam, accompanied by policemen from Kalapani and CRPF personnel from Hat Singimari entered the village (about 3-4 kms from Pipulbari) and forcibly claimed around 68 bighas of land as part of Assam.
The team was allegedly sent by Saibar Rahman, ADC, South Salmara district which the union believed would be with the knowledge of the DC.
"There are rumours that 40 bighas were allotted to 20 people (at Rs 2 lakh per bigha) while the rest of the land is to be distributed soon. The Assam officials have even proceeded to put up posts," said Momin.
The students' union blamed one Abul Hanif, who apparently was acting as the middleman, to identify lands for gains in cash or kind.
"The land being illegally occupied belongs to three Indian citizens from Meghalaya who have a patta for the land from the GHADC and have been paying taxes for it. When they produced the documents, it was simply declared as fake documents completely disregarding the GHADC," he added.
The union alleged that the timing of the act pointed to conspiracy.
"We have photos and videos to prove that the DC, ADC, Lad Mondol, police and CRPF contingent have broken every lockdown rule and the Assam government must take these government servants to task since their actions are not only conspiratorial but have put public health at risk in both states," added the leader.