Four villages located along the Indo-Bangla border in East Jaintia Hills district have demanded the Centre and state governments to allow them to be part of Bangladesh.
The demand came as a mark of protest against the failure of the government to construct the Rymbai-Bataw-Borkhat-Sonapur road, which has been left in a pathetic and deplorable condition for the past many years.
The decision was taken at a meeting convened by the four villages – Hingaria, Huroi, Lahalein and Lejri – having a population of more than 5,000. The meeting has discussed the course of action against the government’s apathy towards the demand of the people of the area.
“The meeting has unanimously decided that it is better for the government to give the four villages and its 5000 plus population to Bangladesh if it is not willing to construct the road for us,” Spokesperson of the four villages Kynjaimon Amse said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
“The four villages have also decided to write to the Government of Bangladesh to request for construction of the road for us since the Government of India and Government of Meghalaya have failed to understand our problems,” he said.
“Prima facie it is clear that the lives of the border population do not matter at all to the Government and we are being used just for votes. If the government really considers us as Indians and is serious about our problems, the Government should immediately address the road problem and interim measures should be taken up to ease the road problem failing which the people will have no choice but to take extreme steps,” the statement further stated.
Amse said that the four villages have been moving from pillar to post to draw the attention of the Government to construct and build the road.
“We have been writing to all Government functionaries right from the Deputy Commissioner to the Chief Minister and Governor, but all we got was false promise. We have also been writing to the PMO, Home Ministry, NITI Aayog, Finance Ministry, NEC and many other offices of the Union Government for intervention, however even they are not interested to see our needs,” he said.
He informed that the matter was also taken by the Meghalaya High Court and National Human Rights Commission but the governments at both levels have been reluctant to the needs of the people.
He said the proposal worth Rs 123 Crore for construction of the road has been lying with the DoNER Ministry since April 2019, however till date the DONER Ministry have not even discussed the proposal , hence the same is not approved till date.
“The CM and Dy. CM when we met them have assured that the project will be approved; however all the assurance has shown no result. It only seems that the State Government is not serious about the road and did not take up the matter with the DoNER Ministry for consideration,” Amse alleged. The spokesperson said that the absence of a proper road has in fact violated the very fundamental right to Life of the people and also the basic human rights of the people. “The present condition of the road is the root cause of all the problems of the people and unless the road is constructed the lives of the people will be just like mere animal existence. The people are being remembered just during elections and not after that.The people are frustrated and tired,” he added.