Shillong, Dec 2: A delegation of the Khasi-Jaintia Development Council Demand Committee met Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday requesting his intervention with regard to constituting and creation of “Khasi Jaintia Development Council” in the state of Assam for the interest of the people of Khasi-Jaintia tribes living in Assam.
In the memorandum submitted to the CM, the committee said it sought the NPP and the state of Meghalaya’s consideration with regard to the longstanding legitimate demand for the creation of “Khasi Jaintia Development Council” in Assam, which will serve the interest of the indigenous Khasi-Jaintia tribes living in Assam especially in the Barak valley region (South Assam).
The committee informed that the population of the Khasi-Jaintia tribe is more than 1.70 lakhs with more than 375 villages and living in the most interior part of the region far away from the mainstream and concentrated in the entire three District of Barak valley to almost all the 15 Constituencies in the Barak region.
The memorandum mentioned, “It is worth mentioning here that the Government of India, Ministry of Tribal Affairs (C&LM-I Division) Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi, dated the 15th December 2014 have directed the then Commissioner & Secretary Department of Welfare Plain Tribes and Backward Classes (WPT&BC), Govt. of Assam, Dispur to take appropriate action for the creation of the said “Khasi-Jaintia Development Council”.
The committee further pointed out that the then State Government has turned deaf ears to the longstanding legitimate demands in addressing and promoting our socio-economic, education, ethnic and cultural grievances to provide maximum participation in advancement within the framework of the Constitution of India.
The committee in the memorandum said that the matter in Assam has been taken up by the previous Congress Government and the same has also been placed at the Assam state-level Cabinet Sub-Committee held on January 7, 2015.
Speaking to reporters, Sebastine Pakyntein said that the demand for the Council has been from the year 2011.
Stating that Sangma is a member of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Sebastine said that the CM of Meghalaya can discuss the matter with the Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal.
“He has given us a positive response where he will discuss the matter with the Assam Chief Minister and Himanta Biswa Sarma. He assured that he will coordinate with them. We hope it will materialize as it is the right time now”, he said.