SHILLONG, Dec 2 - An organisation of the Khasi and Jaintia communities based in Assam has requested Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to help constitute a development council for the two communities in Assam.
In a memorandum submitted to Sangma, the Khasi-Jaintia Development Council Demand Committee said the Meghalaya Chief Minister should help in constituting the council along with the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) of which the NPP is a partner.
The Khasi-Jaintia body said that the council should be constituted in the greater interest of the two communities living in Assam, especially in South Assam�s Barak Valley. It added that there are at least 1.70 lakh Khasi and Jaintia people living in more than 375 villages in Assam.
These people living in the interior parts of the region, are concentrated in the three districts of the Barak Valley and spread across all the 15 constituencies of the region.
The organisation further stated that the issue of creation of the council was taken up by the Congress Government in 2015. The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs had also directed the Assam Government to take action with regard to creating the council.
The Khasi-Jaintia body rued that despite living in the Barak Valley since the 18th century, the two tribes have been neglected and are living in �deplorable, pitiable and substandard condition�.
Urging Sangma to take up the matter with his Assam counterpart, the organisation said that the plight of the two communities would be addressed through creation of the council.
The issue of creation of the council took momentum after a militant group, Hmar Peoples� Convention - Democratic (HPC-D), reportedly threatened the Khasi residents of Atukhal in Cachar district of Assam.
The militant outfit has accused the Khasi residents of being responsible for the arrest of its members by the Assam Police. It threatened to shoot the Khasi residents following which Meghalaya DGP R Chandranathan contacted senior police officials of Assam and the SP of Cachar district.
During the discussion, Chandranathan was informed that the Khasi villagers are taking shelter in a church, which is being secured by the police. The Sub-Divisional Police Officer of the area also visited the premises where the villagers are currently taking refuge.
Meanwhile, the Khasi Students� Union has warned the HPC-D to refrain from causing harm to the Khasi residents of Assam.