‘Assam using state machinery to manhandle Meghalaya residents’

SHILLONG, Mar 12: Congress legislator from Umroi, George B Lyngdoh on Tuesday said that the recent incidents along the Meghalaya-Assam inter-state border has set a new trend.

“Assam is using the state machinery to manhandle Meghalaya residents,” Lyngdoh said during a shout duration discussion on the recent incident in Umwahli, Langpih, West Khasi Hills wherein 28 villagers were injured when Assam police lathi-charged them.

He pointed out that the incidents aat Huhuapara last year and the recent one at Umwahli proves it.

The Congress legislator from Umroi said that there was a need to rebuild confidence of villagers staying in the border areas.

In his reply to the short duration discussion, Home Minister James K Sangma said that the state government has initiated developmental programmes in the border villages and to uplift the economic conditions of villagers living there.

The Home Minister informed that the state government has initiated the Inter State Border Area Development Programme (ISBADP) in 2011-12 under the state fund for this purpose.

“Projects taken up under this programme are to ensure sustainability and to provide value addition to any given product,” Sangma said.

He also informed the Meghalaya Assembly that the ISBADP funds are ordinarily used for bridging the critical gaps meeting the immediate needs of the people residing in the border.

Meanwhile, the Home Minister also informed that post the February 14 incident at Umwahli, the matter was taken up at the Chief Secretary’s level.

According to Sangma the Meghalaya Chief Secretary asked his Assam counter part to maintain status quo in the reas of dispute.

The Home Minister also informed that the Assam Chief Secretary was asked to pass an order to the concern authorities to refrain from forceful high handed activities so that people living in the border areas do not live in constant fear but can have a peaceful existence.

“It was also requested that people living in the border areas are not deprived of any developmental projects sponsored by the government of India,” Sangma said.

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