The contested Sweepers Lane/Them Iewmawlong belongs to the Nongkhlaw clan and cannot be handed over to the state government by Hima Mylliem without their acquiescence, clan members have said.
According to the clan, they have in their possession the agreement signed by them with the British in 1863.
Sonimai Nongkhlaw, a member of the clan from Laitkor, said that the state government does not have any right over the land at Them Iewmawlong as it is merely a tenant. The Syiem of Mylliem, meanwhile, is only the custodian, not the owner, she added.
“We made them (Hima Mylliem) owners of only the part of land at Them Ïewmawlong so that they can resolve the issue with the state government,” she said.
Nevertheless, the Nongkhlaw clan is grateful to the state government for working together with the Hima Mylliem to relocate the residents of Them Ïewmawlong.
The member of the Nongkhlaw clan said that they are ready, if the state government invites them to discuss, to settle the issue so that the matter is solved once and for all.
She also said that the Nongkhlaw clan were owners of a large swathe of land in Shillong city.
Nongkhlaw also said that until 1977, the government used to pay rent to the clan of Rs 50 annually, but have stopped since.
She informed that the clan used to meet the government over the issue but authorities did not pay heed to their pleas.
The clan members also said that if the government pays the rent that was stopped in 1977, it will be able to prove their ownership over the lands in Shillong especially at Them Ïewmawlong.