The executive committee of the Raid Dorbar Saw Symper, comprising 15 Dorbar Shnongs, has alleged that the Syiem of Maharam, Niandro Syiemiong, has manipulated regulations to benefit himself to the disadvantage of ordinary people.
Addressing the media here today, K Marbaniang, President of the Dorbar Raid Saw Symper, said that the notification issued by Syiemiong on December 31 stated that Hima Maharam will receive 50 per cent from land sold or donated to the government under Raid Saw Symper, while the caretaker of the land will get 20 per cent, the Dorbar Raid will get 10 per cent and Dorbar Shnong will get 20 per cent, which, he said, demonstrates the extreme greed of the Syiem.
“A landowner who sells her land for Rs 1 lakh, for example, will get only Rs 20,000, while Rs 50,000 will go to the Hima, which is unacceptable to the people of Raid Saw Symper,” Marbaniang said. “We stand by the agreement signed in 1944 where it was agreed that land falling under Raid Dorbar Saw Symper will be dealt with by the elders, myntris, and leaders of the Raid Dorbar Saw Symper and not by the Hima of Maharam.”
Recently, the Syiem registered an FIR with police claiming that he was threatened at a public meeting convened to oppose Syiemiong’s land notification. Marbaniang stated that this is completely untrue and that the meeting was held peacefully.
According to Marbaniang, the change to the land regulation came about because Syiemiong wanted to take advantage of the proposed two-lane road from Lad Mawreng to Ranikor; through the new regulation the Hima would be able to net a tidy sum from the sale of land by the residents to the government for the project. He further alleged that the Syiem also took his share of compensation for the land taken from people for the construction of the Bagmara-Ranikor road.
“We will never accept such suppression by the Syiem and reject this notification, which classifies the landowners under Saw Symper as mere caretakers. The Syiem has no right to even one percent from the lands of Saw Symper,” Marbaniang stated, adding that the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council has already directed Syiemiong to put his land notification on hold.