Traditional leaders of Raid Amjong and three pressure groups have expressed concern over the apparent increase in the number of Bangladeshi refugees in the refugee colony in Amdubighat and Panbari in Ri-Bhoi.
Raid Amjong falls under the jurisdiction of Hima Khyrim. Representatives of the Raid and of the three pressure groups – Hynñiewtrep Youths Council (HYC), Meghalaya People Social Organisation (MPSO) and Meghalaya People United Front (MPUF) – yesterday visited the refugee colony at Amdubighat and Panbari.
They found that the population has grown from 40 families in 1963 to 100 now 60 years later.
Panbari is actually a new village comprising 15 families that has been created, they said, by the refugees without the knowledge or authorisation of Raid Amjong, Hima Khyrim or the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC).
The original 40 Bangladeshi households were granted settlement rights in the refugee colony in Amdubighat in 1963 provided they renewed their documents every year and paid the required fees. However, the new settlement in Panbari has not been authorised and has been in existence for almost six years.
The traditional leaders and pressure groups want this new village to be brought under the ambit of Amdubighat and Raid Amjong.
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