Wait For HC’s Order Before Shifting Government Employees From Harijan Colony : HPC To Meghalaya Government

Posted in Featured, Meghalaya, Northeast

 

  • NET Web Desk

Reacting to the Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong’s recent statement for immediately shifting the government employees residing at the Harijan Colony at Them Iew Mawlong, the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) has advised the state government to wait for the High Court’s order on the same.

The Secretary of HPC, Gurjit Singh recently asserted that the matter is pending before the High Court and the court has asked status quo to be maintained. “How can the government order for shifting the employees staying at the Harijan Colony. This is wrong, the government should wait for the High Court’s order into the matter,” Singh said.

Earlier, a senior official had informed that the relocation of the staff of Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) from the Harijan Colony will begin after the civic body shifts its office temporarily to Lumpyngngad cottage near the Chief Secretary’s official residence at Bishop Cotton Road, followed by the renovation of the staff quarters at the present temporary office. It is said that the state government will allot quarters to 128 employees.

The issue of shifting the government employees for the site commenced in 2018, after the clamour arised at Iew Mawlong, which gradually transformed into a violent unrest which impacted normal life in the city for weeks.

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

On the basis of this agreement, the state measuring 12444.13 sqm situated at Shillong has been formally handed over to the first party, i.e., state government. According to HPC, the state government has not revealed the points mentioned in this agreement, even after the filing of Right To Information (RTI) Application.

It further reminded the state government of 2019 Meghalaya High Court (HC) order, which asserted that state government cannot disturb these Dalit Sikh residents, without any civil proceedings. 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). Furthermore, 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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