SHILLONG, Sep 07: Making a strong statement on the issue of the border dispute with neighbouring Assam, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has demanded that Assam transfers back Block I and II to Meghalaya.
Addressing the Dorbar Hima convened by the Hima Mylliem after a gap of 18 years at the Polo Ground in the city here on Friday, the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the KHADC, Hispreaching Son Shylla said, “We demand the Assam government to transfer back these areas to us. You (Assam) have taken them away through the process of law now you have to give them back to us.”
“We also demand that the state government of Meghalaya takes up this issue and at the same urges the Centre to intervene into the matter,” he added.
Shylla claimed that Block I & II are not disputed areas while adding that in fact they were excluded from the then United Khasi & Jaintia Hills District and were included along with Mikir Hills Autonomous District in 1951.
He said that this was done just after the 25 Khasi States were included under the Indian Territory in January 26, 1950 while pointing out that the Supreme Court had also stated there was no merger as such of the 25 Khasi states but by Constitution.
“In the First Schedule when the territory of the Assam was defined they also included the Khasi States by Constitution. After one year, they excluded the Block I & II from the then United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District through Paragraph 1 sub para 3 and clause e which says that the governor may diminish the area of the autonomous district,” he said.
Alleging that the inclusion of the Block I & II to Mikir Hills Autonomous District was done without getting any approval, Shylla said, “This is a continuous stigma that we are facing as to how we lost these areas to Assam. Therefore, we have decided to fight and get back our lands and ensure that they are transferred back to us.”
Shylla also said that most of the people inhabiting a sizeable portion of Block I & II belong to the indigenous Khasi Pnar community.
Shylla said that the Council will also consult legal experts on the matter. “We will consult legal experts because this is the outcome of Assam government abusing its powers,” he said.
Asked whether the Council would consider taking the matter to Court, Shylla however said, “We are yet to reach that stage but we will continue to demand what is rightfully ours because the question is who had given the approval to exclude these areas at that time. We will find out who is responsible for this to the extent that it led to exclusion of Block I & II from the then Khasi and Jaintia Hills District.”
Meanwhile announcing the resolutions adopted by the Dorbar Hima, Acting Syiem of Hima Mylliem Ainam Manik Syiem said that the Hima has resolved to work together with both the state government and the KHADC on the issue relating to inter-state boundary dispute with Assam. “We want to ensure that the Hima in particular and the state in general has clearly defined boundaries,” he said.