Meghalaya Assembly discusses construction by Assam in disputed area

SHILLONG, Apr 5: Congress legislator from Umroi, George B Lyngdoh on Thursday asked if the state government was willing to dismantle a structure constructed by the Assam government in the disputed Block II Area.

“Whether the state government has any intention to dismantle the structure or leave it as it is,” Lyngdoh asked while seeking a reply from the government during the Zero Hour Notice.

The Umroi legislator also asked why instances of Assam violating the status quo agreement happen frequently in spite of the Chief Secretary level dialogue between the two states.

In his reply Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma while he did not comment on whether his government intends to dismantle the structure or not however, informed that on March 15, this year, the construction work started where some iron rod post were erected at the site and the same was reported to the Ri-Bhoi deputy commissioner.

Replying to the Zero Hour notice, Conrad informed the House that the construction site for setting the out post of the Assam police is located by the side of Umsohphoh river bordering Tyrso village, Ri-Bhoi district.

“Reports indicated that on the intervention of the deputy commissioner, Ri-Bhoi the construction work of the outpost at Umru village under Block-II by the Assam government had been stopped on March 20 until the matter is resolved by the deputy commissioners of Ri-Bhoi (Meghalaya) and West karbi Anglong (Assam),” the Chief Minister said.

Conrad however stated that the very next day on March 21, the Assam police again resumed construction work in the presence of Assam battalion personnel and labourers.

“On being questioned, they stated that the higher authorities from Hamren, West Karbi Anglong in Assam instructed them to continue with the construction work,” the Chief Minister said.

He also informed the House that in protest against the construction by the Assam government the people of Umru village held a public meeting on March 23, at Tyrso, Lumdiengjri ME School and thereafter proceeded to Umru village where NGOs and Dorbar Shnong Raid Nongtung attended.

The Superintendent of Police of Ri-Bhoi district was instructed to ensure maintenance of law and order in the area and to closely monitor the developments.

Conrad also informed the House that on March 22, the Meghalaya Chief Secretary wrote to his Assam counterpart requesting her to intervene and stop the construction work, following which the work has ceased by March 23.

He also said that the district administrations of Meghalaya and Assam are liaising and monitoring the situation in the area to preempt any untoward incidents.