HITO demands the constitution of a Boundary Committee to resolved boundary Dispute

Shillong, July 05: The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) today submitted memorandum to the Meghalaya Home Minister Mr, Lahkmen Rymbui on the boundary issued between the Meghalaya and Assam which is yet to resolved the differences.

In the memorandum  the organsation also demanded that the Government of India has to constituted Boundary Committee to resolved the boundary dispute with the Assam State and Meghalaya.

The HITO in the memorandum state that seeking land documents from the Autonomous District Councils by the state Government this show that the Government of Meghalaya do not have proper land document even the state is going to celebrate it Golden Jubilee of its Statehood.

HITO stated that they learnt that the land documents is  intend to use these documents for talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his impending visit to Shillong, that is, if given an opportunity to broach the subject.

It comes as a shock to the people of the State, which is on the cusp of celebrating its Golden Jubilee of statehood, to know that the government of the day does not have proper land documents pertaining to the state’s boundaries and has to depend upon the mercy of our three ADCs.

If this is true, then does it mean that the Meghalaya Democratic Government of the day is telling us that the people of the State have all along been lied to be previous governments with regards to the border issues.

HITO feels that it all the assistance of the ADCs is needed, the government should instead lead a delegation comprising of representation from the ADCs in its intended summit with the Union Home Minister and not relegate them to mere spectators.

This clearly shows that this government which is at the sunset of its term is yet to announce its common minimum program, has no concern for the upliftment and proper status of the ADCs.

HITO urges upon the MDA government to refer back to the Committee constituted in 2012-2013 to identify and record all the areas of dispute between Meghalaya and Assam.

People on both sides of the border remain in confusion and often fearful of high handedness by official authorities from either side. They often land up between the Devil and the deep blue sea and their woes remain unheard of; leave alone any hope of a lasting solution.

HITO also forthwith demands removal of the term ‘Land Holding’ from all official land documents issued by the ADCs to land owners and replacing it with ‘Land Ownership’.

HITO demands that the MDA government forthwith puts in the public domain the recommendations of the All-Party Committee on Boundary so that all stakeholders of the critical issue are aware and get an opportunity to decide their fate.

Till such time that Union Home Ministry gives a go ahead to the implementation of ILP in the State, HITO urges upon the MDA government to temporarily implement the ILP Bill passed by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council in 2018 for the entire Khasi and Jaiñtia Hills region.

The government should rather execute all pending resolutions passed by the august Meghalaya Assembly in recent years such as exemption and amendment under para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India for amendment of i) Forest Conservation Act 1980, ii) Coal Nationalisation Act 1973 and Mining related Acts, iii) ILP, iv) inclusion of Khasi Language in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution of India v) Indian Registration Act 1908.

If the MDA government is deeply and sincerely concerned for the future of the State as a whole, it should resolve the above issues which was an integral part of its 2018 election promises and with time running out, it is high time that an action taken report is tabled publicly before the citizens of the State.

With the Assembly elections around the corner all the MDA constituents viz. NPP, UDP, HSPDP, BJP, PDF, NCP and Independents must remember their electoral oath to the people.

People urgently need to know whether they finally get to cast their votes in Meghalaya and live safely and securely ever after, or still remain in perpetual suspended animation under the shadow of Assam. If Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma refers to Assam as “Bigger Sister” and calls his counterpart “Elder Brother”, then its high time that he practices the bond in Letter and Spirit.

The organisation also state that any discussion or negotiation on the boundary dispute between Meghalaya and Assam must include the Federation of Khasi States Clause 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the Annexed Agreement of the Instrument of Accession, accepted and signed by Shri. C Rajagopalachari, Governor General of India and the twenty-five Khasi States on 17 August 1948.

This significant and long-awaited Treaty between the Government of India and the Khasi Statesis yet to be honored by the Central Government. Hence, it is incumbent on the MDA government of the day to clarify its position on this Treaty of the Khasi States because failing to do so will undermine the spirit of the Treaty during boundary parleys.

HITO said that this Constitutional anomaly of the pending resolution to the IOA & AA since 1948 is reflected in the First Schedule of the Constitution of India under Assam wherein the Khasi States were merged by description forcefully under Assam and against the Treaty terms of the IOA &AA.

On the other hand, HITO expresses its sincere appreciation to the Government of India for initiating positive steps towards solving the long pending inter-state border issues prior to celebration of the 75th Anniversary of India.

The organsation wish that this brings about a much-needed positive outcome to our State that has been embroiled in much pain and strife because of persistent and lingering boundary problems with Assam.

In conclusion, HITO demands that the MDA government comes clean on the above important issues before the State and tables a White Paper in the public domain so that all stakeholders are made aware of the truth and facts vis-à-vis truthful information on the actual areas of difference between Meghalaya, Federation of Khasi States Chiefs and Assam.

HITO also demands the immediate constitution of a Boundary Committee by the Government of India comprising all four stakeholders i.e its representatives from relevant agencies.

The Government of Meghalaya, the Federation of Khasi States and the autonomous district councils so that the issues are resolved and taken to their logical conclusion at the earliest, the memorandum was sign by the president Mr. Donbok Dkhar and Wanhun N Dkhar general secretary of the organsation.

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