NEIPF team to visit border village

GUWAHATI: North East Indigenous People’s Forum (NEIPF) chief convener, Anup Chetia has said he would lead a delegation of the forum to Balakhowa and appeal to its residents for peace in the area.

The forum, it may be recalled, had prior to the Lok Sabha elections, organised a peace meeting at Langpih, a disputed village along the inter-state boundary.

“Representatives of Assam and Meghalaya chapters of NEIPF will visit Balakhowa soon to interact with people of both the states. We will also look for ways a permanent solution at the local level as the government has not been able to take a decision in this regard,” Chetia told The Shillong Times here on Thursday.

“Nevertheless, on behalf of the forum, we appeal to both the states to find out a long-lasting solution to all boundary-related problems,” he said.

Reflecting on the Langpih meeting, Chetia said, “From the interactions we had, it was clear that people there have a good mindset. The grudge locals have is not against indigenous communities but against encroachments by outsiders.”

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front, Ri Bhoi Youth Front and Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People, which are constituents of the forum.

NEIPF was formed in 2017 with an aim to unite indigenous organisations to safeguard the identity, rights and customs of people of the Northeast. The forum has since its inception opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill tooth and nail.

The Meghalaya chapter of NEIPF was launched in February this year.

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