Meghalaya Government Takes Legal Possession Of Sweeper’s Lane, Considered Illegally Occupied By Sikhs

Posted in Featured, Meghalaya, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

The Meghalaya Government has taken legal possession of Sweeper’s Lane, which was earlier occupied by Dalit Sikhs of the state.

According to the state government, a tripartite lease agreement was signed between Meghalaya Government (first party), Syiem of Mylliem (second party) and the Shillong Municipal Board (third party) on March 31, 2021.

On the basis of this agreement, the state measuring 12444.13 sqm situated at Iew Mawlong, Shillong has been formally handed over to the first party, i.e., state government.

“I on behalf of the Government of Meghalaya (first-party) hereby accept the handover of the said demised leased premises to the first party,” – stated by Joint Secretary Urban Affairs, G Kharmawphlang in a letter to Additional Chief Secretary Donald Philips Wahlang.

“We will fight for our rights till our last breath. We will die for our land and will not allow any illegal, unlawful, unethical and unjust action by the Meghalaya government,” – asserted the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) secretary Gurjit Singh.

Singh further added that so-called-matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court, and state government would commit a breach of procedures if it goes ahead with its illegal plans to evict the Sikh residents.

It is pertinent to note that Donald Philips Wahlang is also the member secretary of the High-Level Committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong which had recommended for relocation of Dalit Sikhs from the sweeper colony.

Several indigenous Khasi civil society groups for more than two decades, have been demanding for eviction of Sikh people from the lane, who have been residing there since British times.

The government of Meghalaya has always stated that the locality, also known as ‘Punjabi lane’ is actually the property of Shillong Municipal Board (SMB).

Meanwhile, residents of Punjabi Lane claim that the local Syiem (head) of Mylliem (village) had given them the piece of land in 1863 to settle there permanently after an agreement between the Raja of Mylliem and the British administration was reached.

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