We’ve documentary proof that land at Them Ïew Mawlong was gifted to us by Syiem of Hima Mylliem, says HPC
Secretary of the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) Gurjit Singh has claimed that he has all documentary proof that the land at Them Ïew Mawlong was “gifted” to them by the Syiem of Hima Mylliem.
Speaking to The North East Today, Singh also claimed that the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act, 1971, is also not applicable in their case.
“I have all the documentary proofs given by the Syiem of Hima Mylliem. In 2008, Latho Manik Syiem (then Syiem of Hima Mylliem) gave us a declaration,” he said, adding that a copy of the same was forwarded to all departments of the Meghalaya government.
He further informed that the community in question has been residing in the “disputed” land since 1853, while the Act applies to land transfer after 1957.
This came a day after the state Cabinet had asked the Urban Affairs department to begin scouting places for the relocation of so-called “illegal settlers” from the Sweeper’s Colony at Them Ïew Mawlong as per the recommendation of the High-Level Committee (HLC) headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.
The HLC has also recommended the state government to shift all employees of the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) and other line departments to their respective official quarters.
Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma had also announced a successful tripartite agreement among the Syiem of Hima Mylliem, Urban Affairs and the SMB. The final procedure to actually take over possession of the entire land is in process and should be completed within a week’s time, he had said.
The HPC, however, has outrightly rejected the recommendations of the HLC. Singh countered that the 1954 agreement does not mention that the land belongs to the SMB. “You go through that agreement 1954, I have that agreement, I will show you”, he said.
He also challenged the move of the Urban Affairs department to take over the land, stating that the Syiem of Mylliem cannot arbitrarily take a “gift” away and hand over the land to the SMB and Urban Affairs department.
Given that the case is still pending before the Supreme Court as well as the High Court, the HPC secretary slammed the Syiem of Hima Mylliem for taking such a resolution, adding, “(The Syiem) is misleading the local people…” He says that the decision may instigate violence against the minority Sikhs of Shillong, who in this case are also predominantly from the lower-caste community.
He alleged that the issue was again taken up in lieu of the October 30 bye-election of three constituencies.
However, the agreement signed between the Syiem of Hima Mylliem and the SMB in 1954 states that the Hima is at liberty to resume the land at Them Ïew Mawlong if the terms of the agreement are violated. This agreement signed by the then Syiem Joy Manick and L. Pal Chaudhuri, Vice Chairman, SMB, was for two plots of land measuring 21,837 sq. ft. (Plot A) and 11,577 sq. ft. (Plot B).
“If the plot is used in contravention of the terms of the agreement, the Syiem in Durbar will be at liberty to resume the land,” the 67-year-old agreement states.
It may be mentioned that the HLC was constituted by the state government to find a feasible solution for the relocation of native Sikhs in the Sweeper’s Colony from Them Ïew Mawlong following the 2018 violent protest at Motphran in response to a minor altercation between two citizens.
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