Newmai News Network
Shillong: The Jaintia National Council (JNC) today asserted that there is a need for the regional committees of Assam and Meghalaya to conduct a survey which should be based on the historical background of the disputed areas.
“The Council is of the view that the regional committee of both States must conduct a historical background survey through the help of experts from various departments to look into the various aspects of these areas and of the tribal community, who are living in these areas,” JNC president Sambormi Lyngdoh said in a memorandum handed over to Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of Urban Affairs, Sniawbhalang Dhar, who is also the chairman of the regional committee for West Jaintia Hills.
He said that the state of Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as an autonomous state in 1972. The creation of the new state was based on the Assam Reorganization (Meghalaya) Act of 1969.
However, the Meghalaya government refused to accept this Act as areas of the present-day Jaintia Hills, Ri-Bhoi and West Khasi Hills districts of Meghalaya were transferred to the Karbi Anglong, Kamrup (metro) and Kamrup districts of Assam, the JNC added.
He said Meghalaya contested these transfers after statehood, claiming that they belonged to its tribal chieftains. Assam said the Government of Meghalaya could neither provide documents nor archival materials to prove its claim over to these areas. After claims and counter-claims, the dispute was narrowed down to 12 sectors on the basis of an official claim by Meghalaya in 2011.
Lyngdoh said that the regional committees of the two States are still in the process of settling the dispute.
“However, the Council would like to bring to your notice that the regional committees of both the States lack experts from various departments to look into the historical background of both the States and (they) have ignored to settle these disputed areas according to their historical background concerning the tribal people living in these disputed areas and as per their customary practices and so on,” he said.
He said there are Elaka and villages in the Jaintia Hills which have fallen under the jurisdiction of the Assam Government.
“Nongphyllut Elaka headed by its Dalloi since time immemorial, was under the rule of the King/Chieftain of Jaintia known as Syiem Sutnga. And now in this present day, this Elaka has fallen on the hand of the Assam Government without ascertaining the fact and historical background of the Nongphyllut Elaka,” Lyngdoh said.