The Assembly met at 9.30 A.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.
Unstarred Questions Nos.33 - 35 were disposed of with supplementaries thereto.
The Minister incharge of Social Welfare, Shri. Janden Ch. Marak, clarified his earlier reply to supplementaries to Unstarred Question No.29 asked by Shri. S.D. Khongwir, Leader of the Opposition on March 30, 1979.
The Leader of the Opposition, Shri. S.D. Khongwir, drew the attention of the House to public complaints regarding short weight of cement packed in gunny bags by the Company, which are sold by the retailers. The shortage was to the extent of 5 to 7 kilograms per bag of 50 kgs. The Minister of Civil Supplies, Shri. P.R. Kyndiah, informed the Hose that government had not so far received any complaint to that effect. He, however, informed the House that he would take the notice of the member as a complaint and assured that he would look into the matter.
The Hon'ble Speaker announced that the following members were elected to the Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes, and to the Committee on Estimates without any contest :-
(a) Committee on
the Welfare of Scheduled Tribes,
Scheduled Castes and Other Backward
|(1)||Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh,|
|(2)||Shri. H. Ledishon Nongsiang,|
|(3)||Shri. Obil Kyndait,|
|(4)||Shri. H. Britainwar Dan,|
|(5)||Shri. Snomick Kalwing,|
|(6)||Shri. Girash Marak,|
|(7)||Shri. Jogendra Nath Bantha,|
|(8)||Shri. Maham Singh.|
(b) Committee on Estimates :
Shri. Humphray Hadem.
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (APHLC) took the floor to resume discussion on the Budget. He urged upon the Government to lay more stress on technical and Science courses for students in the State. He was in favour of establishment of more Development Blocks in the rural areas and more emphasis on the training programmes for industries to ensure efficiency in industrial undertakings.
Shri. Salseng Marak (MULF) was against any proposal for taxation to bridge the deficit as he felt that this would hit the rural people and the weaker section of the society. He complained that the price of essential commodities had of late shown and upward trend.
Shri. S.D. Khongwir, Leader of the Opposition, expressed concern over the newspaper report that the Chief Minister of Assam had made an announcement to the effect that the Government of Meghalaya had sought permission of the Government of Assam to open 2 polling stations in the Rambrai area.
Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (APHLC) regretted that there was no reference tot he development of horticulture in the Budget speech of the Finance Minister. He also alleged that some allocations of the Community Development Blocks were withdrawn and placed at the disposal of the community Development Department.
The following members also took part in the discussion and placed their individual suggestions for better and expeditious implementation of various plans and programmes referred to in the Budget Speech :
|(i)||Shri. Singjam Sangma (MULF).|
|(ii)||Shri. H. Hadem (HSPDP).|
The Finance Minister, Shri. M.N. Majaw, dealt with almost every point raised by various participants in the Budget discussion. He repudiated the allegation that the Community Development Department had surrendered an amount of Rs.49 lakhs during the last financial year and claimed that this report was utterly baseless inasmuch as the Community Development Department had no such huge amount at its disposal. He informed the House that the services of the Gram Sevaks and Gram Sevikas would be handed over to the Department of Agriculture. Replying tot he members who opposed the proposed taxation measure, the Minister allayed the fear of the hon. members by asserting that there would be no double taxation as apprehended by some of them. He disclosed to the House that Meghalaya was to pay about 16 lakhs i.e. 4% as Sales Tax on Petroleum products. Refuting the allegations of Shri. B.K. Roy (MULF) that the minorities in Meghalaya had been persecuted, the Finance Minister stated that the Government had respect for all the communities inhabiting the State. He further claimed that the reasonable restrictions on the rights of non-tribals as enjoined by the Constitution were imposed only with the sole purpose of protecting the legitimate interests of the Scheduled Tribes. The Minister informed the House that it was the policy of the Government to settle the boundary issue with Assam amicably. Speaking on education, he disclosed that it was the Government's intention to give special effort to strengthen the very foundation of education before laying stress on advance fields of education. He expressed the hope that Government would be able to speed up the road construction works in coming years.
In conclusion, the Minister stated that he had taken note of all constructive suggestions which he hoped Government would consider with due earnestness for implementation wherever feasible.
The Chief Minister, Shri. D.D. Pugh moved :-
"WHEREAS, a grave situation has been created in the Langpih area (Raid Mynsaw) of the Rambrai Syiemship as a result of hostile actions of the Police force of the state of Assam;
WHEREAS, as a result of the aforesaid actions, a state of fear and panic has been created in Riad Mynsaw, forcing the inhabitants to flee from their hearts and homes and take shelter in adjoining areas, thereby placing upon the State Government the burden of rendering immediate relief and protection to the affected people;
WHEREAS, the said Police force of Assam, under the pretext of inspecting the Meghalaya Police Battalion personnel, located at Langpih and functioning in the area for the last six years or so, disarmed them, wrongfully confined them and seized all properties of the Police Outpost, including rifles, ammunition, wireless sets, batteries and other equipment;
WHEREAS, these provocative acts of the Assam Police are in total violation of the spirit of the agreement made between the then Chief Minister of Assam and Meghalaya on the 29th February, 1976, stipulating that differences between the two States would be resolved through mutual discussions, which understanding was again reiterated at a meeting of the Chief Ministers of the two States, which was also attended by other Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya on the 24th June, 1978;
AND WHEREAS, inspite of repeated demands of the Government of Meghalaya and the advice of the Government of India, the Government of Assam have not withdrawn their Police force from the said area whereby a state of fear and panic continues to prevail, and most of the displaced persons have not been able to go back to their hearths and homes;
NOW, THEREFORE, this House hereby unanimously condemns the above stated actions of the Assam Police in the Rambrai Syiemship and the hostile attitude of the Government of Assam; and further resolves to urge the Government of India to take appropriate action sot hat a state of normalcy returns and the status quo ante is restored in the aforesaid area. The House also places on record, its heart-felt sympathies for the affected families."
The following amendment to the resolution was moved by Shri. R. Lyngdoh (HSPDP) :
In the first paragraph after the words "hostile action of'" and the following words "an illegal encroachment into the territory of Meghalaya in the said area by".
In paragraph 3, the "Semi colon" occurring after the words "other equipment" be deleted and the words "and illegally occupied the areas belonging to Meghalaya" be added.
In the last para, the words "status-quo-ante is restored in the aforesaid area" be deleted and in their place the words "territory so occupied returned to the State of Meghalaya" be substituted.
He complained that the Assam Police had encroached to the extend of 30 Km deep inside Meghalaya from so-called disputed area. he He dismissed the Notification of 1876 as regards the erstwhile United Khasi & Jaintia Hills boundary with Kamrup District as a mere act of convenience resorted to by the British regime without any regard to the then existing Khasi States. He emphasised that the Government should take due note of the exact boundaries of the Khasi States which were hitherto undefined before settling the boundary issue with Assam.
The Leader of the Meghalaya United Legislature Front, Shri. W.A. Sangma, held the previous Minister for Revenue Shri. M.N. Majaw, responsible for creating bitterness and hostility between Meghalaya and Assam by allegedly taking the law into his own hand.
Shri. B. Pakem (HSPDP) contended that the 1876 notification did not take note of the Rambrai Syiemship which had a territory of its own.
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (APHLC) wanted that the Government should consider the boundary issue from political, constitutional and humanitarian point of view, while Shri. G. Mylliemngap (APHLC) wanted the resolution to be more strongly worded.
Other Hon. members who participated included :
|(i)||Shri. D.D. Lapang (APHLC)|
|(ii)||Shri. L. Kharlukhi (HSPDP)|
|(iii)||Shri. Manik Das (MULF)|
|(iv)||Shri. Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (HSPDP)|
|(v)||Shri. Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (APHLC)|
|(vi)||Shri. E. Iawphniaw (HSPDP)|
|(vii)||Shri. H. Hadem (HSPDP)|
|(viii)||Shri. Shri. H.B. Dan (PDIC)|
|(ix)||Shri. P.G. Marbaniang (HSPDP)|
|(x)||Shri. D.N. Joshi (MULF) and|
|(xi)||Shri. Reidson Momin (APHLC)|
Replying to the discussion, the Chief Minister, Shri. D.D. Pugh reiterated that it was the desire of the Government to solve the issue as expeditiously as possible with utmost diligence and wisdom. He informed the House that the Government was prepared to accept the proposed amendment to the resolution.
The resolution was thereafter passed as amended.
The House rose at 7.35 P.M. and stood adjourned till 9.30A.M. on Tuesday, April 3, 1979.
|Sd/- D.S. Khongdup|
|Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|