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Conrad reiterates Mukroh is within Meghalaya, committed to resolving border issues with Assam

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Shillong, March 21: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday reiterated that Mukroh is very much within Meghalaya even as he added that his government is committed to resolve the remaining six areas of difference with Assam.

Replying to a supplementary question raised by opposition VPP legislator from North Shillong Adelbert Nongrum, Sangma said that as per the census code, Mukroh is under the jurisdiction of West Jaintia Hills District.

His statement also came days after the Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had informed the Assam Assembly that Mukroh falls within the boundary of his state.

He said that the government has also set up polling stations in Mukroh in the recently concluded Assembly elections besides fair price shops, lower primary school, health sub centre and others.

The chief minister informed that as on March 17, over 502 job cards were issued in Mukroh for the benefit of the residents.

“(Therefore) our stand is very clear that Mukroh is very much in Meghalaya,” he stated.

Whether the government has filed an FIR against the killing of five innocent lives by the Assam police on November, last year, the chief minister said a case has been registered with the Nartiang police station.

He however said that the matter is subjudice as investigation by a commission of inquiry is still on.

When UDP legislator from Mokaiaw Nujorki Sungoh wanted to know the action taken on the demand to immediately remove the forest check gate at Mukroh, the chief minister however said, “We are not able to take up this entire matter as shifting of the gate is also within the mandate of the inquiry commission. Inquiry by the commission is going on right now. Therefore, let the investigation be completed.”

Earlier, VPP chief and Nongkrem legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit has expressed concern on the safety and security of the people living along the border and said there is constant fear in their minds and wondered if it was due to “soft approach” of the state government that has embolden the counterparts to the extent of claiming that Mukroh falls under their jurisdiction.

Replying to this, chief minister said in the past 50 years, it was witnessed that there have been incidents taking place in the border areas and ‘this definitely stems from the border issue and the differences that we have and the fact that border resolution has not been reached’.

According to him, due to this, tensions built up from both sides and finally led to different incidents.

“That is why the MDA-I government was keen to resolve the border issue…that is why we are firm and (signed) the MoU. Therefore, we are working towards ensuring that we move forward and are able to resolve the remaining six areas of difference,” Sangma assured.

When Basaiawmoint sought an assurance that the government should not compromise the safety and security of the people to avoid another firing incident, the chief minister said there is need to strengthen the state forces to build up the confidence of the people.

“Therefore, we have gone ahead to sanction new outposts, enhance the manpower…,” Sangma said while asserting the importance of communication and coordination with the counterparts to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border.

Further, the chief minister has informed that along the inter-state border, the government has created 7 new border outposts.

In addition to the existing police stations and outposts, new police stations and police outposts in close proximity to the inter-state border of Assam have also been created.

Deputy Commissioners of the bordering district having areas of difference are in regular touch with their counterpart DCs from Assam.

He said a standard operating procedure (SOP) has also been issued to the Superintendents of Police regarding measures to maintain peace and tranquillity in the areas of difference along the inter-state border.

Regional Committees headed by cabinet ministers have been formed for resolving the remaining six areas of difference.

Also read: Conrad assures to examine regularization of teachers in non-government lower primary schools

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