Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui today said that the Meghalaya government’s hands are largely tied when it comes to the Khasi residents of Athukal village, in Assam’s Cachar district, as the neighbouring state has jurisdiction and ultimate responsibility for the safety of its citizens.
The Khasi residents of the village have recently been in the news after receiving threats by the Hmar People’s Convention – Democratic (HPC-D) rebel group.
“Yes they belong to our community. But as a government we cannot just go there because we have to follow procedure,” Rymbui said. “They are citizens of Assam and therefore, first and foremost, the government of Assam should take care of its residents.”
However, Rymbui will request Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to follow up the matter with the government of Assam.
“As a government we will take up the matter with our counterparts so that our people living in that state do not face a situation because of people from other communities,” the Home Minister said.
Rymbui also said that, as far as he is aware, Assam has sent police forces to take stock of the situation after the HPC-D demanded Rs 8 lakh from the Khasi community following the arrest of three of its members by Assam Police, for which the militants blamed the Khasis.