Govt justifies eviction, says ready for talks
SHILLONG: Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh has justified the eviction drive conducted recently at Umsawli saying that the court had termed the ‘settlers’ as ‘encroachers’.
Talking to media persons here on Monday, Lyngdoh said that notices to the illegal settlers were not required as the court verdict on October 20 justified the ownership of land at Umsawli as that of the Meghalaya government.
“Government is willing to hold talks with the residents of Umsawli provided they do not take law in their own hands,” she said.
Last week, the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) had conducted an eviction drive at Umsawli to pave way for construction of the New Shillong Township, but CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing along with others obstructed the eviction drive.
She was later arrested by police on the basis of an FIR filed by MUDA.
While justifying the eviction drive, she said that the MUDA officials wanted to inquire about the settlers during the eviction drive but they (settlers) refused to divulge their antecedents to the authorities
She also said that Government has the video footage of all the events that took place during the eviction drive.
Meanwhile, a note of the MUDA surveyor C Lyngdoh, which was submitted to the Minister on Monday, said seven kutcha huts, one semi pucca shed and one kutch shed were demolished during the eviction drive.
Two plots of land were allotted to NEEPCO and IT Department during 2010-12, the note said adding some portions of the Government-acquired land at NST had been encroached by some people who do not want to disclose their names but understood to have been instigated by Agnes Kharshiing, Jropsila Kharkongor and John Kharkongor.
The note said that an eviction drive was conducted on June 5, 2012 at the plots but only two sheds could be demolished due to strong resistance from the encroachers under the leadership of Agnes Kharshiing.
As per the note, another eviction drive was conducted on November 8 this year and the MUDA officials had explained about the ownership of the plots and some court papers were shown to the encroachers but they refused listen saying land belonged to them.
Later, appearing in the scene Kharshiing abused all the officials and instigated the villagers who created unruly scene.