The Garoland State Movement Committee (GSMC) along with residents of the border areas of Assam met today at Hatogaon village over the issue of an alleged attempt to sell B-Mahal lands in the districts of West and North Garo Hills by the GHADC CEM, Benedic Marak.
The members present in the meeting decided to approach the High Court in the matter as well as formed a committee termed ‘Save B-Mahal’ in an effort to oppose any move to do so.
The meeting comes in the wake of an earlier meeting by the GHADC CEM on November 6 where he apparently lambasted the NGOs by calling them ‘useless’ – a term they took offence of. Benedic held the meeting to clarify doubts over the issue of B-Mahal areas in the two districts.
Benedic’s meeting was held at the Pedaldoba and as per the NGOs only consisted of his party members.
“He blamed the NGOs and the committee stating that we are misleading the public. He called us useless and formed for self-benefit. He also alleged that the committee is collecting an amount of Rs 10,000 from each Nokma and belittled us saying it was the reason why we did not participate in the meeting,” said Tengroang Marak, a social activist from the area.
Informing that they were not scared of a debate on the issue, they accused the CEM of not informing them of the meeting.
The committee, as per the press release has resolved t oppose the behaviour of the CEM as well as proposals being made by the GHADC over B-Mahal areas.
“The agenda is to siphon off funds from the B-mahal region in connivance with the deputy CEM, Nikman Marak,” alleged Marak.
Ironically Nikman was the former chairman of the GSMC, one of the NGOs making a complaint against him.
The GSMC has also condemned the GHADC CEM calling his moves arbitrary in nature and in violation of Art 14 of the Indian Constitution.
“The bonafide residents of the B-Mahal area have equal rights to settle/reside at any place in the Garo Hills. The GHADC is a lawmaker and doesn’t have the right to land alienation or transfer. The land of Mechpara and Karaibari belonged to the Garos before the zamindary system. GHADC is a taxes collector not the owner of the land and there is no land ceiling act hitherto,” GSMC chairman, Rimjen Sangma said.