The Hynñiewtrep Indigenous Territorial Organisation (HITO) today submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Resident Commissioner Assam House, Shillong Monjit Sonowal calling for peace and security in the border villages.
“We urged and appealed to the Assam government to shut down the Forest Beat House located between Mukroh and Mokoilum for the time being till peace and security come to normalcy while peace and boundary issues on the process between the two neighbouring states,” HITO said in the memorandum.
The organization also recalled the 2003 incidents where six people were brutally killed by the Karbi Anglong outfit (KNV), and lamented that nobody spoke about it because everyone was threatened by the said outfit (KNV).
Informing that since it is the harvest season, border residents HITO also urged the Resident Commissioner to call for security to avoid any unprecedented incident.
Later at the ‘Red Flag Day’ rally and candle light vigil held on the premises of U Soso Tham Auditorium here, leaders of the organisation informed that Sonowal has assured the members to convey the message and table the discussion on the sensitive matter with the government of Assam at the earliest.
At the rally, HITO Chief Donbok Dkhar blamed the Assam-Meghalaya joint cadre system for the slackness of the Meghalaya police in such incidents. He also blamed the mandate of the people who choose the businessmen as their political representatives that has given rise to such incidents.
“I also urged the people and various NGOs in Shillong city not to create any chaos because it will impact residents of the border areas,” he said stressing on the need to maintain peaceful agitations in view of the ongoing examinations.
Professor from the Department of Economics North Eastern Hill University, Sumarbin Umdor said that he participated at the rally after HITO made their stance clear that the rally is not to create trouble but “to fight for the rights in a dignified way for those who were victims of the firing and the state as a whole.”
“We are deeply saddened for the families who have lost their bread earners and we should contribute among ourselves to help the bereaved families and we should demand the government to find out other ways and means to further help the families feel secure and can sustain their education and livelihood and not only the ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh that will not last,” he said stressing that it is baseless to create havoc in the city for such incidents because ultimately it is the people of the state that suffer and lose their livelihood.
He called for unity and stressed on the need to fight for the rights in a rightful way.
He also observed that the state is lacking behind in everything despite 50 years of statehood. “We called the country of Bangladesh poor and land covered with water. The fact is that now the people living below poverty line in Bangladesh and the infant mortality rate has come down to only 20 per cent and Bangladesh has one of the fastest growing economy in the entire world compared to Meghalaya that still is still backward by 80-90 percent,” he added.