Oppn takes up Assam interference in border area electrification work  

SHILLONG, Apr 10: Authorities from Assam did not allow a village electrification work to start in what Meghalaya says is “disputed area”.

Replying during a Zero Hour notice in the Meghalaya Assembly on Tuesday, Meghalaya Home Minsiter, James K Sangma informed that Meghalaya was implementing the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram JyotiYojana (DDUGJY) in two villages of West Khasi Hills district – Mawdiangsnam and Umiap vollages falling under the “disputed area” of Langpih polling station.

Assam Police had first stopped the works on February 25, and even threatened to arrest the labourers.

The Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited reported the incident to the West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner (DC) on February 28 and as instructed by the DC the magistrate and an official of the MePDCL accompanied by a magistrate from Mawshynrut with police proceeded to the site on March 16 but authorities from Asssam did not allow work to continue.

The following day – March 17 efforts were made to restart the works but to no avail.

Meghalaya authorities were informed that Assam officials will visit Langpih for a joint inspection on March 19 but none of the officals turned up.

On March 20, efforts were made to restart the work but labourers refused to work due to threat and intimidation.

“The Deputy Commissioner has reported the matter to the government. A discreet enquiry was conducted by Meghalaya police to verify the veracity of the incident that occurred at Umwali near Langpih on March 23. It was found and confirmed from the Sordar of the village that the Kamrup district administration stopped the on going construction and three labourers were taken to Lungpi outpost and later released unconditionally,” Sangma said.

The Home Minister also informed that Meghalaya Chief Secretary requested “suitable instruction” be issued to Assam Police to allow completion of electrification works in the two villages.

“A positive response is expected from the Assam government soon which will ensure a safe and secure atmosphere for thelabourers to resume works,” Sangma said.