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KHADC resolution seeks Block I, Block II back in Meghalaya

SHILLONG: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) passed a resolution to urging the central government, state government, the Assam government, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council to return Block I and Block II to the state of Meghalaya.

Introducing the resolution, KHADC CEM, HS Shylla said the solution of the inter-state boundary dispute was a common problem for the three Autonomous District Councils in Meghalaya and the state government required the cooperate with the efforts of these constitutional institutions to correct the historical and legal wrong committed against Khasi and Jaintia tribes.

According to him, the historic-legal position supports the return of the area known as Block I and Block II to the state of Meghalaya and to the Khasi Hills District Council and Jaintia Hills District Council respectively.

Stating that an injustice was committed against the Khasi-Jaintia Tribe, he said the injustice had to be rectified and the KHADC recognizes this injustice and the imperative need to rectify the “gross illegality”.

“The KHADC was part of the erstwhile “United Khasi-Jaintia District Council”, which was formed as part of then Province of Assam within the dominion of India by the process of the framing and creation of the Constitution of India and not by any Instrument of Merger,” Shylla said.

“In an act that can be described as arbitrary, oppressive and unconstitutional, the areas known as Block I and Block II of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills District were forcibly excluded and tagged with then Mikir Hills Autonomous District Council,” he said.

Shylla informed that the Block I and Block II areas were tagged with the then Mikir Hills Autonomous District Council by the notification dated April 13, 1951.

He added this act is “totally illegal” and arbitrary exercise of powers under Para I of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

“This action has infringed on and violated the sacred rights of the Khasi-Jaintia tribe to tribal land, identity and the protection of the provisions of the Constitution of India as guaranteed,” he said.

Shylla said the provisions of the Sixth Schedule were misused to forcibly deprive the state of a substantial area of land by this act.

With the constitutional aberration and illegality discovered and recognised, he said it was necessary that the central government, state government, the Assam government and the Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council be urged to “rectify the historical act of oppression against the Khasi-Jaintia tribe by returning and restoring back Block I and Block II to Meghalaya and the Khasi Jaintia tribe as per the boundaries within the notification of April 13, 1951.

He maintained that the absolute ownership of the Khasi Jaintia tribal land was unalienable from the identity of the Khasi-Jaintia tribe.

“Taking away of our land constitutes an infringement which violates and destroys our constitutional relationship with the Union of India,” Shylla said.

According to him, the use of any legal mechanism to enable violations of our rights is abhorrent, unconstitutional and demeaning, reducing our status within the federal structure of India.

Not just mere zeal

Congress MLA Kimfa Marbaniang who is an MLA from Rambrai-Jyrngam, a constituency that also had its share of Meghalaya-Assam boundary dispute, recalled the time when four lives were lost in Langpih due to border tensions.

According to him, the resolution should not excite the people but solutions to border dispute should be the prime focus as the people are harassed.

“The resolution should please the people living in the disputed borders,” Marbaniang said.

 

 

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