SHILLONG, June 13 - A Sikh delegation from Punjab today met Meghalaya Home Minister James Sangma and urged him not to relocate the resident Sikh families from their present location here, and ensure their safety.
The Sikh delegation comprising officials of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar, submitted a memorandum to Sangma in this regard.
Stating that the Sikh residents have been living in the Bara Bazaar area for the last 150 years, the delegates said that the Government�s move to �dispossess, dislocate, relocate, remove� them may lead to �untoward incidents and create law-and-order situations�.
They also raised concern over the safety and security of the residents after the banned militant organisation, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, threatened to take action against them.
Following the threat, the Union Home Ministry summoned the State Chief Secretary to New Delhi today. �The MHA has called the Chief Secretary. The meeting has already taken place, but I cannot divulge the details at this moment,� the State Home Minister said.
Sangma, however, assured the Sikh delegation of the safety of the residents. �The State Home Department has taken the issue of security very seriously. We have already increased security in the area and are constantly monitoring the situation,� he added.
On the issue of relocation of the residents, the Meghalaya Home Minister said he did not given any assurance to the delegation. The reason behind this is that the high-level committee (HLC) constituted by the Government to relocate the residents has not completed its proceedings yet.
The HLC, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, recently issued notices to the Sikh residents to state their legal status to reside in the present location. The notice issued on May 31 directed the residents to respond within a month.
�It is a complex legal issue,� Sangma said, adding that he would wait for the HLC to complete its proceedings and then take a decision.
Meanwhile, SGPC member Paramjit Singh reiterated after the meeting with the Home Minister, that the SGPC is against any move to relocate the Sikh families from their present location.
�We want the Government to give them ownership rights over their land and not relocate them. They are poor residents and their living condition is bad,� Singh said.