NCM, NCST, Punjab government intervenes on Meghalaya government’s HLC report

Shillong, Oct 10: The Sikhs of Shillong has welcomed the Minorities Commission stay, Scheduled Castes Commission investigation, Punjab government intervention and DSGMC support against Meghalaya government’s High-Level Committee order for relocation of residents from Harijan Colony, Them Iewmawlong. 

“It has come as a matter of great relief that governmental institutions have responded with support for the poor Sikhs of Shillong, residing in the Punjabi lane for the last more than 200 years,” Gurjit Singh secretary of the Harijan Panchayat Committee said. 

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM), in a press release, dated October 8, has stated, “The Commission has taken suo-moto cognizance of the news reported in the print media regarding the decision of the State government (of Meghalaya) to shift the employees of Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) and other departments of the government of Meghalaya from the Harijan Colony and to find an alternative location for relocating the “illegal settlers.”

The NCM chief Iqbal Singh Lalpura clearly states, “Accordingly the Commission has directed the Chief Secretary of Meghalaya to furnish a detailed report and to maintain status quo in the matter as directed by the Hon’ble High Court of Meghalaya.

The Meghalaya High Court at Shillong has passed orders for status quo and the matter is under consideration of the Supreme Court of India, still, the Conrad Sangma-led government has ignored these and has announced that they will take possession of the 2.5 acres of the land within a week.”

The Harijan Panchayat Committee, on behalf of the hundreds of families living from hand to mouth in the Punjabi Lane area, which was earlier a nondescript area, but now has become a prime area, expresses relief at this order and hopes that the Commission will take this matter to its logical conclusion and save the poor Sikhs of Shillong.

The Harijan Panchayat Committee secretary said, “We are grateful to Minorities Commission, Scheduled Caste Commission, Punjab government and Sikh bodies -DSGMC and SGPC, Shiromani Akali Dal, United Sikhs and all other volunteers, activists and leaders who have stood by us in this hour of great difficulty, when we struggle to save our dwellings and livelihood.”

Singh also said that it is reliably learnt that the National Commission for Minorities has summoned the government of Meghalaya, with full records on October 15 2021.

The Harijan Panchayat Committee also said that it is glad to note that the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, has also taken suo-moto cognizance of the taking up of the High-Level Committee report by the Meghalaya government and that the Commission has decided to investigate/inquire into the matter in pursuance of the powers conferred upon it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India.”

 

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has solicited detailed information, failing which the Commission would summon the representatives of the Meghalaya government.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who has visited Shillong twice since the illegal move of the Meghalaya government to relocate the Sikh settlers in 2018, has told a section of the media, “I strongly oppose the attempts to relocate Sikhs in Shillong and I will take up this matter with the Union Home

Minister Mr Amit Shah and the Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.”

“The Punjab government has intervened in the past and will intervene again,” he said.

Similarly, DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa has promised full logistical support as they have been giving for the last three years.

“It is the duty of the Harijan Panchayat Committee to protect the lives and rights of the poor Sikhs of Shillong and we will do so at all costs and will not allow the High-Level Committee to have their illegal way,” said Singh.

 

 

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