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Meghalaya closely monitoring disputed area with Assam: Guv

 SHILLONG, March 13 - Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy today said that a disputed area along the Assam-Meghalaya border is being monitored continuously and neighbouring Assam has been requested to maintain status quo. Following recent reports that senior Assam officials had visited Umwali village on February 19 to carry out a survey for construction of a police outpost, villagers gathered at the spot and opposed the attempt to set up the structure, Roy said.

The Governor was addressing the Assembly on the first day of the budget session.

The area is a bone of contention between the two NE States. Meghalaya claims it to be part of West Khasi Hills district, while Assam asserts that it falls under its Kamrup district. Following the incident, the DC of West Khasi Hills district had taken up the matter with the DC of Kamrup district, requesting him to maintain status quo and ensure peace and tranquillity in the border area.

After a Chief Secretary-level meeting on June 20, 2019, the State Government had requested Assam to have a Chief Ministerial-level meet on the border issue after the budget session in April, the Governor said.

Roy added the State Government is committed to ensuring the security of its citizens, irrespective of the community they belong to. The Governor’s assurance came in view of the recent violence arising out of a clash between two groups at Ichamati and its fallout here.

He said the State has witnessed agitation and protests by various NGOs against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) and the demand for implementation of the inner line permit (ILP) in the State.

Mentioning that the “overall” agitation against the CAA and demand for the ILP were effectively handled by the State police, Roy, however, said in an unfortunate incident that took place on February 28 in Ichamati, Lurshai Hynniewta, a Khasi Students’ Union member, succumbed to his injuries following clashes.

The clashes broke out during an anti-CAA and pro-ILP meeting organised by the KSU in the East Khasi Hills district close to the Indo-Bangladesh border.

“The police was swift to take action and eight people were arrested following the incident,” the Governor said while informing that a magisterial inquiry has also been ordered. He said the Government has released an amount of Rs 2 lakh as ex gratia to the next of kin of the deceased KSU member, adding that the medical expenses of those who were injured would also be borne by the Government. – PTI

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