By Our Reporter
Shillong: Women activists created high drama in front of the main secretariat gate on Monday as they attempted to forcefully barge into the seat of power in a surprise march to protest the ongoing inter-state boundary imbroglio between Meghalaya and Assam.
Women activists under the banner of the break-away faction of the CSWO led by Irene Hujon reached the secretariat main gate amid tight security which later resulted in a scuffle between them and women police personnel.
The women activists made a surprise march to the secretariat on Monday with the intention of meeting the chief minister to enquire about the progress of the inter-state boundary row.
It took almost an hour for the police to calm down the angry women activists. Some of them even earned blows on their hands and legs. Matters came to a head when one of its leaders, Christabel Wanniang was stripped off her jainsem (traditional clothes) when she intended to climb over the gate.
Despite the blow, Wannaing managed to creep through the gate’s railing and got to the other side with her jainsem off.
Later the matter was sorted out when some members of the CSWO were allowed to enter the secretariat and meet the chief minister. However, prior to their meeting with the CM, the members were asked to meet the Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh. The eight women activists who met the chief minister and home minister on Monday included its president Irene Hujon, Secretary Christabel Wanniang and the presidents of the different units including Raid Mynsaw who said they are not satisfied with the response of the state government on the Langpih issue.
“The promise of settling the boundary dispute between Meghalaya and Assam has remained pending even after 40 years of statehood. This goes to prove that no serious efforts have been made to resolve the issue”, CSWO president Irene Hujon told reporters after their meeting with the CM here on Monday. Both the chief minister and the home minister said that the Meghalaya government had already sent its documents to the Assam government but till date, no response has been received from its counter-part, she added. Demanding tight security in the border areas, Hujon said “The fact that our people live in such fear and insecurity goes to prove that our government is very weak in tackling this issue and it has led its counter-part to do whatever they want to our people.”
The women activists also demanded the Fact Finding Committee of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) should speed up the findings which were supposed to submitted on July 10 but was later postponed to July 18. The committee was formed to collect all the land documents from all the Syiem and Doloi of Khasi-Jaintia Hills to prove ownership of the land in possession. “If the KHADC fails to come up with the report, we will know nothing has been done in this regard”, CSWO Secretary Cristabel Wanniang said adding that she would be compelled to join Pynskhemlang Nongshlong in the fast unto death. Meanwhile, commenting on the recent fracas between leader of the People’s Movement Ardent Basaiawmoit and Pynskhemlang Nongshlong, Hujon said “We don’t know what persuaded the agitators of the fast-unto-death to call off their fast. Later we came to know that Nongshlong had never called off the fast but a wrong message had been sent across by someone”.
Meanwhile, president of the CSWO Raid Mynsaw unit Tirilda Thongni said that she had no knowledge of the reason behind the hesitation on the part of the Sordar of the Raid Mynsaw and the Syiem of Hima Nongstoin to allow them to continue with the fast. Nongshlong, whose health deteriorated is still fasting at Nongstoin Civil Hospital along with some members. “We will support him no matter what until our demand is met”, Thongni added. The CSWO has urged the politicians to refrain from taking advantage of this serious issue which concerns the life and death of the people in the border areas.