DIPHU, Sept 16: A total of 15 organizations including political parties, women and student’s organizations in Karbi Anglong on Saturday held a meeting on the four vital issues of inter-state boundary in regard to the give and take policy being adopted by both Meghalaya and Assam governments, allotment of 18,000 bighas land by Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) to Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) for setting up of mega solar power plant in Lahorijan, the delimitation of legislative assembly constituencies and increase of premium of land value by the land and revenue department under KAAC.
The meeting was convened by the Joint Coordination committee for Protection of Autonomy (JCCPA) and held at the office of All Karbi Anglong Sarkari Gaon Bura Association here. The BJP and All Party Hills Leaders Conference (APHLC) did not attend the meeting.
Interacting with the media, Convenor, JCCPA, Khorsing Teron said, “15 organisations have come together to discuss the issues pertaining to Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong. Issue on Assam- Meghalaya inter-state border was discussed as both the state governments have agreed to adopt the ‘give and take’ policy in solving the inter-state boundary affecting the bordering areas of West Karbi Anglong.”
“We also discussed the allotment of 18,000 bighas of land by KAAC authority to APDCL for setting up of mega solar power plant and the delimitation of constituencies. Though political parties have demanded that no areas should be transferred to another constituency, the final publication of delimitation of constituencies saw some areas going to neighbouring districts,” Teron said.
He also said there is an increase of premium percentage of land by the land and revenue department, which has become a problem for indigenous people to acquire land pattas. Regarding these main four issues the fifteen organizations will work together in opposing the policy of the KAAC and the state government. Memorandums will be submitted to appropriate authorities and if needed, other forms of agitations will also be adopted, Teron informed.
Vice president and spokesperson, Karbi Anglong District Congress Committee (KADCC), Ratan Engti said, “If the KAAC authority is against the ‘give and take’ policy then why is it silent when such incidents have been taking place. The chief executive member (CEM) of KAAC, Tuliram Ronghang has not uttered a single sentence before the media to express his disagreement on the ‘give and take’ policy.”
Engti made it clear that the demarcation of the inter-state boundary should be as per 1951 official notified boundaries. He said not an inch of land of West Karbi Anglong can be transferred to the neighbouring state.
On the allotment of 18,000 bighas of land to APDCL the KADCC vice president said if there is waste land then they have no objection, but the solar power plant cannot be set-up on cultivable land.
“Out of 18,000 bighas 12,000 bighas land belong to the indigenous tribes. By setting up Assam police commando training camp, solar power plant and allowing the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited to construct bypass roads along the inter-state boundary, losing huge land is not the only options for protecting the boundary. The villagers only know that they will get compensation for their land, but will not understand the future consequences,” Engti said.
On the delimitation of constituencies, Engti said that he even spoke in the meeting convened by Election Commission of India in Guwahati that no areas should be shifted or transferred to another district or constituencies.
However, in the final publication of LA constituencies several areas in both Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong are shifted to other districts and constituencies. “We are not satisfied and corrections should be made,” Engti demanded.
He also said due to the sudden increase of the percentage of premium of land value by the land and revenue department the indigenous people are unable to acquire land pattas. In Sixth Schedule districts such increase of land revenue is a problem for the indigenous people.
Former CEM, KAAC and general secretary, ASDC, Jotson Bey said the pressure put by a single organization or party is not effective and the fifteen organizations will work collectively to pressurize the government.
The 15 organisations are JCCPA, Tribal People Confederation, Assam (TPCA), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), CPI(ML), Anti-Corruption Foundation of India (ACFI), Karbi Students Union, Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC), KSA of Jemson Timung and Samson Teron factions, Karbi Unemployed Youth Association (KUYA), Karbi Nimso Chingthur Asong (KNCA), Karbi Anglong District Congress Committee (KADCC), Karbi Rong Asar Amei (KRAA), Karbi Farmers Association (KFA) of Tingku Engti faction, and Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA).