Fear grips Nepalis in Meghalaya
GUWAHATI/SHILLONG, May 17 – Fear gripped the Nepali community in Meghalaya in the wake of issuance of “quit notices” on them by several NGOs in the State as a fall out of the police firing at Langpih, a disputed village along Assam-Meghalaya border.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Cabinet today decided to ask the Centre to set up an independent time-bound inquiry into the firing incident in Langpi.
The Cabinet also decided today to ask the Assam Government to take action against the police personnel involved in the Friday firing incident at the Meghalaya-Assam border.
Four people, all Khasis, were killed and scores others injured when the Assam Police opened fire during a clash between two groups of people belonging to Khasi and Nepali communities.
“We have asked the Nepali community residing in Jaintia Hills district to leave the district within a week. This was done in protest against the killing of four Khasi people at Langpih,” a protesting NGO said.
There were reports of sporadic incidents of attack on Nepali settlers in Jaintia Hills and Nongstoin, about 50 km from Langpih. A large number of migrant Nepali settlers work in the coalfields in Jaintia Hills.
The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), the United Democratic Party and the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council have called separate bandhs in a row starting from Tuesday in protest against the killings.
Despite the State Government’s appeal to call off the bandh, the KSU said it would go ahead with the bandh. “We will go ahead with the bandh,” a spokesman of the KSU said.
Meghalaya Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh appealed to the protesters to withdraw the calls for bandh. “All efforts have been made to thwart any untoward incident,” he said.
On Tuesday, an all-party team of Meghalaya will visit Langpih to take stock of the situation. Assam and Meghalaya claim Langpih citing contradictory documents from history and land records.