DIPHU, Dec 1: The All Party Hills Leaders Conference (APHLC) said the Khasis living in Mukroh are not illegal settlers as they too belong to Sixth Scheduled Tribe.
In a press conference held here at the residence of APHLC president JI Kathar on Thursday said, “The chief executive member (CEM) of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), Tuliram Ronghang during his visit at Mukroh on November 29, where a clash between Khasis from Meghalaya and Forest staff from Karbi Anglong broke out on November 22, said that not an inch of land of Karbi Anglong will be given to ‘illegal settlers.’ In Mukroh the settlers are only Khasis and Karbis and they are not illegal settlers, but Scheduled Tribes as per Sixth Schedule provision.”
Kathar said, the statement of CEM has created a serious misunderstanding among the Khasi people. If the Khasis in Mukroh are ‘illegal settlers’ then the Karbis in Ri Bhoi areas are also ‘illegal settlers.’ The statement of Ronghang is igniting hatred between Khasis and Karbis.
Kathar further said that the CEM should know that during the days of Thong Nokbe, Karbi legendary hero, the Khasis and Karbis took an oath at Khang Khatwi that no Karbi or Khasi would instigate or cause conflict between them. February 5 and 6 every year is said to be the day of the agreement.
The APHLC asserted that the Karbis and Khasis are not ‘illegal settlers’ in sixth schedule areas in Meghalaya and Karbi Anglong. The question of having patta or not and whether it is reserved forest land or not is a different question, it said.