The KSU today said that the repeated killings of Khasi villagers along the border with Assam including the latest one at Mukroh which claimed the lives of five villagers is due to the failure by the Meghalaya government to give protection to its own people.
The KSU central executive committee which met here today said that Assam continued to bully Meghalaya and create terror to the people living in the border.
The KSU today asked the State government to involve the Central government in the ongoing boundary talks with Assam and that all Khasi villages under Himas, Raids and Elakas should be brought under Meghalaya.
“The hill state movement was launched as the Khasis wanted to rule by themselves. Therefore all Khasi villages under Himas, Raids and Elakas should be brought under Meghalaya otherwise the objective of the hill state movement is meaningless,” KSU president Donald V. Thabah said.
The students’ body also demanded removal of all Assam police outposts and establishments from Khasi villages in the inter-state border, setting up of police stations by Meghalaya along the sensitive border areas, and stern punishment to the Assam police and forest personnel involved in the Mukroh firing.
Urging the State government to immediately set up a permanent police outpost at Barato, the KSU also demanded deployment of armed police personnel to Mukroh to protect the area.
The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) said the clashes that erupted on the border of these two states have sent shockwaves throughout the entire region as news from ground zero keep spreading like wildfire.
“The fragile situation along the Assam-Meghalaya border is a reminder of how vulnerable security of border residents can be when such conflicts arise. Past incidents along the borders of Assam-Mizoram, Assam-Nagaland and Assam-Arunachal Pradesh also illustrate the pain and sufferings of the border residents,” NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa said.
Jyrwa also said that even with the Meghalaya and Assam governments engaging in their border talks, the situation is still not conducive along the Meghalaya-Assam border.
“It is understandable that border disputes vary and differ from area to area, however, NESO once again strongly urges all state governments to be committed to solve this long pending problem once and for all and if necessary,” he added.
Jyrwa also said that the Central government should be a party in these dialogues.
“NESO on its part will continue to encourage peoples to peoples contact and peoples to peoples relationship along the border areas. NESO would also like to call upon all the indigenous peoples that this issue is not an ethnic issue but of border dispute in which the respective State Governments are duty bound to solve,” he said.
The FKJGP Garo Hills Zone while condemning the Mukroh firing said the incident is nothing new since the Assam police indiscriminately exercise its powers with total disregard for jurisdiction and area of operation.
“Assam uses its police force to intimidate people residing in border areas of other neighbouring states to cower to their dictates. Such cases has been documented by the FKJGP Garo Hills Zone and its allying NGOs when Assam used its police force to intimidate the people of Mallangkona Salbari, Mallangkona Huhuapara and Mallangkona Garojan in West Khasi Hills when they protested against the contentious MoU signed between the Meghalaya and Assam,” FKJGP Garo Hills Zone president Pritam Marak said.
According to the FKJGP leader, the matter was raised with the Chief Minister of Meghalaya in the presence of the Deputy Chief Minister along with other dignitaries on August 23.
“However, the Meghalaya government has failed to act on the matter which culminated in today’s tragedy,” the organisation.