NORTHEAST WATCH: Shillong gathers proof on Langpih – so why the earlier communal madness against a peaceful Gorkha community, more reason for a new state of their own in India ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Shillong, Oct. 18: Meghalaya today decided to build a strong case to prove its claim on Langpih, with Assam asking for more documentary proof.
Besides Langpih, there are 11 areas of difference on the Assam-Meghalaya border which await a solution.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma said an exhaustive PowerPoint presentation on Langpih and other areas of difference was made before the cabinet today.
“The state government has built up the requisite documentation in support of the claim in respect to the areas of difference with Assam, including Langpih,” Sangma said.
He, however, said examination of a few documents, notifications and maps would be necessary to “strengthen our case before the matter is taken up with the committee of chief secretaries of the two states”.
The cabinet discussed the border dispute for a few hours after the PowerPoint presentation.
The urgency to solve the dispute came after the killing of four Khasi villagers during a Assam police firing on May 14.
After the incident, a chief ministerial-level meeting was held on June 5 in Dispur to discuss the need to solve the boundary dispute.
During the meeting, it was decided that the matter should be entrusted to a committee of chief secretaries of both states to prepare the modalities for solving the matter and to hold talks at the earliest so that they can come out with a concrete solution regarding the areas of differences on the Assam-Meghalaya border, including Langpih.
A 45-day deadline was given to the committee of chief secretaries to complete its task and submit the report to the government.
Considering the seriousness of the matter, the chief secretaries had sought more time to find out a viable solution to the border dispute.
According to Sangma, till Meghalaya examines a few more documents and maps, the chief secretary-level meeting will be deferred.
Though the chief minister did not say why Meghalaya was making efforts to get more documents and maps regarding Langpih, an official source said since Assam still insists on proof for the claim that Langpih belonged to Meghalaya, the state government has no other choice but to collect relevant data to substantiate the assertion.
Asked about the reports of fresh encroachment from Assam into Langpih, the chief minister said Meghalaya would not allow any new settlement in the area.
On October 6, the Khasi Students Union and Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People in West Khasi Hills fixed a deadline of 15 days for the government to solve the boundary dispute.
They also alleged that there was fresh encroachment into Langpih despite both the governments agreeing to maintain status quo in the area.
Sangma, however, denied that there was any fresh encroachment along the border and said after verification it was found that status quo was being maintained.