The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has been given a 15 days’ deadline to return Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur to Hima Sohiong.
Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur is presently under Hima Jirang.
The ultimatum was issued by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of people of Hima Sohiong today.
Addressing media persons here today, JAC chairman Purningstar Shabong informed that the Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur which used to be a part of Hima Sohiong was furtively handed over by the Lyngdoh of Hima Sohiong Bashemphang Thabah to the Syiem of Jirang Hamberley Wahlang on April 17, 2015.
He also said that the handover of Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur to Hima Jirang was approved by the executive committee of KHADC on August 6, 2015 without following proper procedure including consent of the people of Hima Sohiong.
According to Shabong, this secret handover of the Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur to Hima Jirang will further complicate matters in solving the boundary dispute with Assam since all the land documents of Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur still lie with Hima Sohiong.
Informing that on September 17, 2019, the JAC has filed a complaint with the Chief Executive Member of KHADC on the matter including demand for removal of Thabah for this act with a reminder on the same sent on October 22, 2019, Shabong, however, expressed dismay that till date the KHADC is yet to take any action on the matter.
He also said that the present KHADC Executive Member in-charge Elaka Administration, Jambor War had in the past assured the JAC members to look into the matter.
Shabong lambasted the KHADC for its apathy on this matter despite being the guardian of the land and forest of Khasi people.
“This delay by KHADC to act on our demand has paved the way for Assam to encroach even further into many areas under Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur that is adjacent to Assam. The people there are facing constant harassment from the Assam side,” he said.
“Even the famous Accoland amusement park at Rani used to belong to Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur but now it has been claimed by Assam. Now Assam has started to encroach even further into this Hima,” Shabong added.
Sordar of Hima Nongwah-Mawtamur, Useful Lakhmi said that a few weeks back people from Assam have started conducting a cleaning drive of a river falling under the jurisdiction of the Hima. He alleged that Assam has also set up a forest camp in the area.
Stating that Khasi villagers in the area were facing harassment every now and then from Assam, Lakhmi said, “We have apprehensions that time may come where we will fall under Assam government where we will be further harassed and get step-motherly treatment.”
He also said that people of Hima Nongwah- will not accept the ‘give and take policy’ agreed between the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Assam.