Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong today said that the state government is fighting to bring 22 villages in the disputed Block 2 area from Assam’s jurisdiction and into Meghalaya.
The fate of these villages will be discussed between the two sides during Phase 2 of the border negotiations.
Tynsong said this on the sidelines of an event at Umskun village when he was asked by reporters about the continuous harassment carried out by Assam police on Meghalaya tribals in border villages.
“Let me clearly say and clarify to the people of Meghalaya that the 22 village that are located in Block 2 have been under the jurisdiction of Assam for decades but, in this second phase of border talks, the Meghalaya government has submitted all documentation to Assam so that the desire of our people living in these villages to be part of Meghalaya will be fulfilled,” he said.
It came to light yesterday that Assam had encroached on a community forest in Ri-Bhoi’s Umsaw Lumdorbar village and erected a fence on the land. Unknown persons then tore down the fence on December 11 and, since then, the Assam police have been harassing village elders, blaming them for the removal of the fence.
On this and other incidents, the state government has directed the Deputy Commissioner to hold talks with his counterpart in Assam in order to restore peace and tranquility.
Phase 1 of the border negotiations concluded with the signing of a deal on March 29 in New Delhi. Tynsong said that it was agreed in that memorandum of understanding (MoU) that “until the boundary settlement is complete, both governments will not create any disturbances or intrude in the areas of difference.”
Nevertheless, the Meghalaya government has also decided on setting up police outposts along the border to shore up security for the state’s citizens.
Meanwhile, Director General of Police (DGP), Dr L.R Bihnoi today met Assam Inspector General (Law & Order) PK Bhuyan, DIG (Central Range) Satyaraj Hajariki and held a meeting at the beat office of Umjakini Forest Range under Baithalangso Police Station in West Karbi Anglong.
Deputy Commissioner of West Karbi Anglong Krishna Barua, Ri Bhoi Superintendent of Police Giriprasad M, SP of West Karbi Anglong Indranil Barua and DFO of Hamren R Engti and others were present.
The meeting dwelt on maintaining peace as both the governments are working towards resolving the longstanding border dispute.
Later, the DGP and officials visited the community forest at Umsaw Lumdorbar village where the fencing was laid and dismantled.