HITO reply to the statement of Meghalaya Home Minister Mr. Lahkmen on the IOA: Mr Donbok

Shillong, August 22: The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organisation (HITO), would like to issue a statement in reply to the statement of Meghalaya State Home Minister, shri. Lakmen Rymbui, who was quoted by Peitngor 12/08/2021, stating that the Government of India refuse to discuss on the Instrument of Accession (IOA). Hito feel it their duty to make this statement and clarification especially to all the honourable 60 MLAs and 90 MDCs, 3MPs in Meghalaya.

At the dawn of Independence a conditional Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement was accepted and signed by Shri C Rajagopalachari Governor General of India, and the twenty five Khasi states individually and collected as the Federation of Khasi States on *17 tarik August 1948*.

Prior to this it is public knowledge that the Government of India had asked the Khasi Chiefs to also sign the Standstill arrangement on 9 August 1947 which followed with a new Accession Agreement with Governor of Assam on 16 July 1947 that the conditional IOA & AA would be for a period of two years only until new arrangements are further discussed between the respective signatories, however the words “for a period of two years” were unilaterally removed by the Government of India from the IOA & AA of 15 Dec 1947.

Subsequently during the Third Reading the Government of India was misled and betrayed the Khasi States and this forceful amended IOA & AA till date has not yet been placed in a special 370A article within the Constitution of India which is violating all UN conventions on Human Rights.

For the information and record of Shri LakmenRymbui, Hon’ble Home Minister of Meghalaya and his cabinet colleagues they should check from their own Law Department and read history before making statements and know that the IOA & AA of the Twenty Five Khasi States individually and as Federation of Khasi States was officially placed by SardarVallabhbhai Patel, Deputy Prime Minister officially through a “White Paper on Indian States 1950” document in the Parliament (Constituent Assembly) during 1949 and 1950.

The HITO poses a question to Shri. LakmenRymbui, does he have proper academic information on the IOA& AA and its clauses and contents and is he and the Chief Minister aware that the Khasi People even when facing the barrel of the gun refused to sign the Instrument of MERGER (Refer WicklifeSyiem& incidents at Nongstoin State during March 1948) and accepted only the conditional IOA & AA for a period of two years which was subsequently changed and accepted and signed by Shri. C Rajagopalachari, Governor-General of India on 17 August 1948.

The demands for the implement of the conditional IOA & AA is called for not only by the HNLC but by many organizations such as the Federation of Khasi State (FKS), Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO), Hynñiewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) Hynñiewtrep Youth Council (HYC), SOMALA, infact archival records reveal similar demands in the joint Manifesto of the Regional Parties under the banner of RPA (UDP, HSPDP, KHNAM, and MDP) during the MP Election-2004.

Ironically the BJP -Policy for Meghalaya 1997 promises to respect and implement the Agreement with the Khasi Rulers. Even the father of the present Chief Minister late PA Sangma, former Speaker LokSabha during his meeting with the Khasi States Rulers during 1999-2000 stated before the Khasi Rulers that the “Instrument of Acession must be Honoured” by the Government of India.

HITO also recall late BB Lyngdoh, former Chief Minister also stating that while all Princely States were all merged and abolished themselves the Federation of Khasi States refused to Merge and acceded through a special treaty and hence stated that the ” Khasi States are alive” and a host of other prominent leaders.

On analysis on the issue of the IOA & AA it is not the Government of India but the MDA led NPP which included the UDP, PDF, HSPDP, KHNAM, NCP, BJP, and INDs, who are refusing to discuss and accept the IOA, the recent rejection of the motion and resolution moved by Dr M. AmpareenLyngdoh, MLA during 2019 in the Meghalaya Assembly speaks volumes on their sincerity towards protection of the Hynniewtrep people.

We would also request Shri. LakmenRymbuiHon’ble Home Minister to understand the anomaly that exist in the Constitution of India wherein the words “KhasiStates” find mention in the First Schedule. Is he aware of the constitutional reasons why these glaring anomalies exist? We would therefore request the Hon’ble Home Minister Meghalaya and the Chief Minister to kindly make public such communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India as this is also good news since it will help us to approach the UNPO to achieve our rights.

It will also mean that India has also accepted that the Hynniewtrep land of the Khasi and Jaintias are now finally independent and free in letter and spirit.  Another question to Chief Minister and Home Minister is are they the authorized representatives to discuss the IOA & AA in absence of the Syiem, Lyngdoh, Sirdar, Wahadar of the Federation of Khasi States.

While on the other hand the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) after detailed hearing on 26 April 2012 has officially accepted the constitutional anomaly and issued a directive upholding the Instrument of Accession & Annexed Agreement of the khasi states.

HITO recall this was also followed with personal official letters from the Chairperson of the NCST to the Union Home Minister of India to incorporate the treaty agreement within the Constitution of India. The statement of the Home Minister of Meghalaya contradicts all such directives of the constitutional body the NCST.

It appears and exposes that MHA and the Hon’ble Home Minister of Meghalaya is not knowing what the left and the right hand is doing. Further we would like to reiterate to the Hon’ble Home Minister that it is clear on reading the White Paper on Indian States placed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in parliament during 1949-50 in relation to the FKS and the twenty five Khasi states the agreement states clause-1-of the Annexed Agreement states “.

The Federation of Khasi States here iñ after referred to as “the federation” agrees that all existing administrative arrangements between the Dominion of India and the Province of Assam on the one hand* and the Khasi States on the other hand* shall with the exceptions noted below, continue in force untill new or modified arrangements have been arrived at between the respective authorities concerned.

Till date no new arrangements have been arrived at between the respective authorities concerned. If we give value to the statement of the Meghalaya Home Minister, we again ask him is the directive from the NCST (a constitutional body under Article 338A) wrong or illegal?  It is apparently clear that the confusion and conflict at the Border is primarily due to the pending resolution of the terms of the conditional IOA & AA wherein the Khasi states have been unconstitutionally placed under Assam since 1950 and have been subjected unconstitutionally to the sixth Schedule.

Further if Farooq Abdullah, President, National Conference (NC)  and Mehbooba Mufti, President, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), both former Chief Ministers are clear on the rights of their people and have clear rights protected under the Instrument of Accession under Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, and if MrThuingalengMuivah, General Secretary, NSCN -IM and the Naga people are clear on their treaty and rights.

The question in Meghalaya Government is are the Presidents and General Secretary of the varios regional and National parties, the three MPs,  the 36MLAs, the 60MDCs of the Hynniewtrep people (KhasiJaintia) are they clear and do they understand that these treaty agreements need to find place in the Constitution of India.

If they are not clear and are hesitant on these issues 2023 is not too far away and hence the HITO urge all the people to ensure that they deliberate carefully on this subject so that they elect representatives (MP, MLA MDC) who are clear and not shy of their own unique history and status under the Khasi States in relation to accession with India.

We would also advise the Hon’ble Home Minister Meghalaya who is also the Education Minister to take steps to notification that the schools, colleges and University must include the above unique history and status of the Hynniewtrep people in their academic curriculum so that the present and future generation are aware of the facts.

It is necessary for the political establishment to make the demand for implementation and incorporation of the IOA & AA within the Constitution of India similar to the steps taken to implement the ILP. We pose a question to the MDA State Government led by NPP (NPP, UDP, PDF, HSPD, KHNAM, NCP BJP and IND) are they willing to bring a resolution in the upcoming Assembly Session to include the IOA & AA in Article 370A.

The above political parties need to clarify including the politically based KHADC and JHADC where the ruling parties are in power are they willing to bring a resolution on IOA & AA. Before going to Delhi the MDA need to bring a resolution on the IOA & AA instead of stating that the Government of India is not agreeing to discuss the IOA.

It is public that the Government of India will obviously hesitate as they know we the KhasiJaintia are different in all aspects from Land Ownership, Forest, Minerals, Language, DorbarShnong, Dorbar Raid and DorbarHima governance we are different in all aspects with mainland India.

It is paramount to firstly know the stand of the NPP, UDP, PDF, BJP, HSPDP, NCP, KHNAM, INDEPENDENT, including Indian National Congress do you understand the underlying anguish, hurt and pain that has arisen due to the non-fulfillment of the IOA & AA and will these above parties agree on the resolution in Assembly ?

The H.I.T.O will be conducting awareness meetings on these issues in the entire Hima/Elaka of Khasi and Jaintia Hills which is the aspiration of the organization. The Article 7 of the organsation  is to provide enlightment and to provide a forum for discussions on the unique history and status of the Hynñiewtrep people particularly relating to the Accession terms of the Khasi people.

The Khasi States Rulers refused to sign the Instrument of MERGER and were subjected to only the conditional Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement 17 August 1948 signed and accepted by Shri. C Rajagopalachari, Governor-General of India and the Federation of Khasi States (Twenty Five khasi states) on 17 August 1948. Said Mr. Donbok Dkhar President of HITO in the press statement.



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