Umroi legislator alleges extortion by militants in disputed Block II

SHILLONG, Mar 19: Congress legislator from Umroi, George Bankyntiew Lyngdoh today informed the Meghalaya Assembly that villagers in the disputed Block II Areas are being harassed by militants.

According to Lyngdoh, farmers are facing extortions along the villages in block II areas like Sabuda, Mawlasnai, Madan Umwang.

“These villages are facing the brunt of militant activity and extremist along the block II area,” the Umroi legislator said.

Lyngdoh was taking part in the debate on the Governor’s Address.

Lyngdoh urged the state government to ensure strict vigilance and strengthen the Mawlasnai police outpost so that the villagers residing in Block II areas are protected from militant activities.

On the complex inter-state border dispute with Assam, Lyngdoh felt that there is need for a timeline to be fixed.

“… for the completion of the dialogue which seems to be happening for many years now with no solution at sight,” he added.

Meanwhile, on the issue of illegal immigration Lyngdoh pointed out that the services of the Labour Department is underutilized so far as checking influx is concerned and called for need to strengthen it.

He suggested that the services of the Labour department can be utilised to monitor the ways and means how to improve employment opportunities that is available in various offices.

Lyngdoh also proposed a domicile reservation for citizens of the state in the central government sector offices as well as in the military and para military.

“This will ease of the pressure that we are receiving from the youth of the state as to getting them employment opportunity only in government offices. The monitoring of employment in public and private enterprises is also important because industries that have been set up in the state seems to cater to employing people from other parts and not from the state,” Lyngdoh said.

Lyngdoh also urged the state government to collect data of domicile citizen of the state in various central government offices, state and private enterprises so as to regulate the employment of locals in the state.

The Umroi legislator also pointed out that the presence of several central government sectors/offices, paramilitary institutions has not been of much blessing to the state.

“Even though they have utilize our lands, our water, our air and beautiful environment we share in our culture and tradition but likewise it has not been complimented with regards to employment whether direct or indirect,” he added.

On the issue of finance, the Umroi MLA said that even though the government has taken effort to increase the direct benefit transfer of subsidies and assitances to various citizens of the state but added that there is no road map to increase the bank network in the state.

“As per data, it appears that only 25 per cent of the villages in the state are bank villages, means villages are at a distance of 5 km from the nearest bank,” Lyngdoh said.

He also pointed out that the bank tries to set up branches within comfort zones and profitable areas.

Lyngdoh urged the government to look at the network and ensure penetration of the banks should be more into the rural areas to help people.

“Due to long distances, people do not submit their bank accounts and the DBT effort of the government is defeated,” the Umroi legislator added.

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