SHILLONG | Feb 24:
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has taken up the matter pertaining to the recent tension in Umwali village under Langpih in West Khasi Hills district, along the Meghalaya-Assam border, with his counterpart, Sarbananda Sonowal.
“I have spoken to Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on this issue and in the discussion, I informed him about the different situations that took place and laid emphasis that status quo must be maintained and also stressed on the point that it is important for the two leaders to meet,” Meghalaya CM said on Monday.
CM’s observation was made in the wake of escalating tension at Umwali in Langpih bordering Assam after police from the neighbouring state with personnel’s of 11th Gorkha Regiment and Central Armed Para Military Force (CAPF) entered the area of dispute. The Assam police had allegedly tried to set up a police camp in a land belonging to a resident of Meghalaya.
Commenting on the law and order situation in the disputed area, Sangma said “Law and order is the top priority for the government. In last few days, the Home Minister and myself have been closely watching and monitoring the situation.”
He informed that the respective deputy commissioners of Kamrup in Assam and West Khasi Hills in Meghalaya are in touch adding that talks are also being held even at the chief secretary level, DGP level and SP level.
To queries on reports of the army entering the state, the chief minister said that the government has clarified this information with the DG and chief secretary of Assam and was informed that no such movements have been ordered from their side.
“It will be inappropriate on my part to come to a conclusion without getting concrete information about this but according to preliminary investigation and information collected by DG and CS and their counterparts, this is not true; but there was some mention about an operation at the army level which was completely independent of the situation that was there in Umwali area,” Sangma clarified.
Sangma further clarified that the state government was informed, at the later stage, that the army had an independent movement that took place which had nothing to do with this particular Umwali incident and it just happened that it was around the same area.
Allaying fears, the chief minister said “The situation has been brought under control and both the state governments are working towards ensuring peace.”
Meanwhile, Sangma informed that information is being collected from all sources to get a clear picture of the entire situation; he has also asked the local MLA of Nongstoin, Macmillan Byrsat to visit ground zero.
“We have been getting updates from ground zero and apart from official channels, we are also keeping our unofficial and political channels open and ensuring that we get information from all angles. I assure the people of that affected area that the government, police are monitoring the situation closely and discussion with Assam government is on,” said the CM.
Earlier, Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui had assured that the State Government will take all possible steps for the safety and security of the people residing along the inter-State border adding that both Assam and Meghalaya should take all possible steps to ensure that status quo is maintained.