SHILLONG | Dec 17, 2018:
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday made a strong statement opposing the recent decision of the Punjab Government to allocate funds for the Sikh population residing in Sweepers’ Colony in Shillong.
“The State Government will not allow funding of any assets in any areas which is in dispute,” said Conrad.
The Chief Minister said this while replying to a question on the decision of the Punjab Government to provide compensation to the Sikh community of Them Metor and allotting an amount of Rs 50 lakh for re-construction of the Khalsa Middle School in the area as its old building has been declared unsafe.
According to Conrad, nobody is against the allocation of funds brought forward by any community or State for developmental purposes.
“But nothing can be done in an illegal way. We all know that there is some controversy on this particular land. Therefore, the Government will not allow development of any assets on this particular land,” Chief Minister told reporters here today.
Stating that the Meghalaya Government would always welcome any funds for developments of schools, he further said that if the Punjab Government would be happy to give permission to construct such schools if it possesses the legal land documents.
“We will not have problem if they wanted to invest in an asset of the school which is legal there. But no money will be allowed to be utilized or allowed to be use in disputed areas. Therefore, there cannot be any kind of investment or any spending of money in those disputed areas,” Chief Minister said.
When asked if the Government is adding fuel to this whole episode, he said that it is difficult to say why the Punjab Government is taking this decision right now and they will be in the best position to answer this question.
“For us we are very clear that we welcome any funds which are meant for development. But we will not allow assets to be created in disputed areas,” Conrad added.
Earlier, Captain Amarinder Singh government had approved relaxation in instructions of the Relief and Resettlement Department for providing Rs. 60 lakh as compensation to the Sikh community against damage caused to their properties during violence in Shillong.
Captain Amarinder Singh had deputed a four-member delegation led by Cooperation & Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to visit Shillong for taking stock of damage caused to the properties of Sikh community in violence.
On their return from the strife-torn areas of Shillong, the delegation submitted a report and apprised the Chief Minister about the situation. Captain Amarinder Singh on September 28, 2018 ordered that requisite amount be provided from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to the Punjabi settlers, whose shops were gutted, besides construction of a community-run school.
Out of the total amount of Rs. 60 lakh, Rs. 50 lakh would be provided to Khalsa Middle School in Bara Bazar for reconstruction as its old building has been declared unsafe.
Similarly, monetary assistance to the tune of Rs 2 lakh would be given to Sangam Singh for loss caused to his shop in violence. Apart from this, Rs. 3 lakh would be given to Gurmeet Singh whose scooty showroom was put on fire during clashes, while Rs. 5 lakh to Satpal Singh whose truck was set ablaze by rioters.