SHILLONG | June 13, 2019:
The four-member delegation of the apex Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee (SGPC) today met Meghalaya Home Minister, James PK Sangma to urge upon the State Government not to relocate the Sikh living from the Harijan Colony at Them Iew Mawlong.
The four SGPC members who met Home Minister include Harpal Singh Jalla, Advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka, SGPC’s additional secretary Paramjit Singh Saroa and Simarjit Singh.
Talking to reporters, SGPC’s additional secretary Paramjit Singh Saroa said that they have impressed upon the State Government not to relocate the Sikh population since they have been residing there from 1853.
“We have asked the Government to give land ownership to the Sikh community so that they can construct a permanent structure with all the basic amenities in the area. At the moment, the place where the Sikh community is residing is like a slum,” Saroa said. He said that the areas is very unhygienic and most the houses which are there in the colony are temporary structures.
When asked why they are against the plan of the State to relocate the Sikh community to a better location, he said that the Sikh community is adamant to shift to another place since they have been residing in the area right from the time of the forefathers.
“The Sikh population residing in the Harijan colony have been voting in both the Assembly and Parliamentary elections since 1954. Therefore, the State Government will have to safeguard the interest of the Sikh community,” SGPC’s additional secretary said.
Meanwhile, he said that the Home Minister has declined to give any assurance since the matter is being examine by the High Level Committee.
Meanwhile, he also informed that they had also expressed their concern before the Home Minister on the threats by a proscribed organization against the Sikh residing in the area.
Meanwile, Meghalaya Home Minister said that the Home department is taking this matter very seriously adding that the police have also taken adequate measures and steps to increase the security in the colony.
“We are constantly monitoring the security aspect in this matter. This issue is being taken by the HPC which is being headed by Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong. Till the HPC concludes its entire exercise, I cannot make any comment or give assurances,” Sangma said. He also said that the HPC is working under the entire framework laid down by High Court.
“As and when the HPC concludes the whole exercise, we will be able to give a clearer picture,” he said while also informing that the delegation are satisfied with the security arrangement provided by the Government in the area.