Proceedings of the third session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled under the provision of the Assam Re organisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969.

QUESTION AND ANSWERS.

The house assembled in the Assembly Chamber at 10. A.M on Tuesday the 30th March, 1971.

(Mr. Speaker, in the Chair)


STARRED QUESTIONS.

(To which oral replies were given)

Mr. SPEAKER :- Starred question No.5

Re : Construction of Mawkdok-Khadarshnong Road.

Shri S.P. SWER  asked :  Shri EDWINSON BAREH (Minister, P.W.D. (R & B.) and P.H.E] replied :
5* Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that construction of the Mawkdok-Khadarshnong road has been abandoned?

 5. (a) - No.

(b) If not, when the actual construction work of the road will be taken up?

(b) & (c) The works will be taken up as soon as land compensation is completed, or advanced possession of land is obtained.

(c) When will the actual construction work of the Dympets Mawbeh road be taken up?

Shri S.P. SWER :- Whether the Minister in charge of P.W.D will please state the difficulty in acquiring the land. ?

Shri E. BAREH (Minister, P.W.D)  :- The difficulty is that we are not getting land from the land owners for implementing our scheme.

Re : Indiscriminate killing of deer in United Khasi and Jaintia Hills.

Shri E. BREMLY LYNGDOH :- asked : Shri STANLY D.D NICHOLS ROY- (Minister, in charge of Forests etc)  replied.

*6 (a) Whether Government is aware that the indiscriminate killing of deer for the selling of their venison in several markets within the District of United Khasi - Jaintia Hills is still continuing unabated?

6. (a) - yes.

 

(b) If so, what are the difficulties that prevent effective steps being taken by the Government to stop this slaughter?

(b) - Government has powers to stop indiscriminate killing of deer only in Reserved Forest and accordingly steps have been taken. Government has no powers in this regard in respect of District Councils Forests and Private Forests. An appeal was issued to the people for their  co - operation, but it has not been effective. Government is, therefore, contemplating to being in legislation for the protection of wild birds and animals in the whole state.

Re : Rock Farming at Mawsmai.

Shri S.P. SWER asked : Shri STANLEY D.D. NICHOLS ROY  (Minister, in charge of Agriculture, etc.,)  replied :
*7. will the Minister, Agriculture be pleased to state - 
(a) Whether it is a fact that Rock Farming has been experimented at Mawsmai? 7. (a) - No.
(b)  If so, what is the result?  (b) - Does not arise.

*Shri S.P SWER :- Will the Minister in charge be pleased to state what encouragement is given to the people for Rock Farming at Mawsmai?

Shri S.D.D NICHOLS ROY (Minister,  Agriculture) :- Rock Farming means reclamation and development of critical areas particularly in the most eroded parts for converting the land in to useful purpose.

        Before, taking up any such project, a detailed study of the areas, rainfall, extent of erosion, cropping and pattern and geological formation is to be examined.

        There is a provision on a small scale for a Pilot Project in the  Fourth Five Year Plan. No subsidy has been considered for Shri Hynniewta for Rock Farming.

        Formal approval of sanction has been accorded under normal programme activities for the execution of one Minor Irrigation Project which will not exceed Rs.5022/- in the Mawsmai area. In the absence of completion report nothing has been done further.

Re : Creation of the Department of Transport.

Shri E. BREMLY LYNGDOH asked : Shri STANLEY D.D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Transport, etc.,) replied :
*8. Will the Minister of Transport be pleased to state -

(a)  Whether Government have received any intimation from the Government of India for the creation of a Department of transport?

8. (a) - The Department of Transport is already in existence.

(b) If so when will the Department start functioning? 

(b) - The Directorate is taking shape and it will start operating when  we get the powers under the M.V Act from the Government of India.

Re : Destruction of Forests in United Khasi and Jaintia Hills.

Shri E. BREMLY LYNGDOH  asked : Shri STANDLEY D.D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister in charge of forests etc). replied :
*9. Will the Minister, i/c Forest be pleased to state -

 (a)  Whether Government is aware of the extensive destruction of the forests in several parts of the District United Khasi - Jaintia Hills and the transport of timber outside the state?

(a)  - There is no destruction of forests under the control of the Government. The transport of timber outside the state from any forests is allowed with proper checking.

(b)  If so, what steps are contemplated by Government to control the exploitation of forest produce of the District?

(b) - Does not arise.

*Shri BREMLY LYNGDOH :- Will the Minister in charge please state whether  there is any possibility of controlling private forests by the District Councils?

Shri S.D.D NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Forests) :- The exploitation of Reserved Forests is done according to the Working Plan and if  the Working Plan has expired according to a prescribed formula, the  extraction of timber and its export outside the State are controlled by a system of transit passes and check gates. As regards forests under the control of the District Council, discussions was proposed by the Minister, Forests for the scientific management of such forests, The discussion could not take place in the view of the elections. As regards private fore seats, their regulation is the responsibility of the District Council but the Department is also studying ways and means of controlling the exploitation of the private forests.

Shri WITHER SON MOMIN :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is there any co- ordination between the District Councils and the State Government regarding transport of timber?

Shri W.A SANGMA, (Chief Minister) :- The hon. member perhaps knows that at present all the reserved forests and other forests are under the control of the District Councils and the Minister in charge has already replied. However, attempts are being made for some co-ordination and if possible certain legislation will be effected for management and control by the respective District Councils.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Re : Wangala Festival of the Garos.

Shri JOSEPHINE MOMIN  asked : Captain WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) Replied :
1. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) Whether Government is aware that the Wangala Festival is a religious Festival of the Garos?

1. (a) - It is a harvest Festival of the Garos.

(b). If so, whether Government proposes to declare it as public holiday?

(b) - Government has decided to declare it as a local holiday for the Garo Hills District.

Re : Deficit Budget for 1970 -71

Shri NIMOSH SANGMA asked : Shri BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) replied :
2.  Will the Minister in charge of Finance be pleased to state -
(a)  Whether it is a fact that Meghalaya Government is running on a deficit budget?

2. (a) - Yes, The Budget Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure and for the year 1970-71 give a deficit gap of Rs.60.46 lakhs.

(b) If so, how Government propose to make up the deficit?

(b) - The accounts of Government of Meghalaya started with a debit balance of Rs.98.78 lakhs apportioned as Meghalaya's share from the accounts of the composite State of Meghalaya Moreover, Government of Meghalaya did not get any separate award from the Finance Commission and only a share of the award o f the State of Assam on the basis of the composite State was given to Meghalaya Government. We are exercising utmost economy to keep the administrative cost to the  minimum. Government may have to move Government of India to give  a grant to the extent of actual deficit in due course.

(c)  What is the total revenue accrued to the Government from different sources such as land revenue, forest revenue, forest revenue, income tax and from other taxes during the year ending 31st March, 1971?

(c) - The estimates of receipts for the year 1970-71 are as below :

(i)  State's receipts from the Land Revenue, Forest, Taxes, etc :- Rs.1, 30.99 lakhs.

(ii) State's share of Central Taxes duties  in the Finance Commission Award -Rs. 1.35.13 lakhs.

(iii) Statutory grant from Government of India - Rs.3,20,00 lakhs.

(iv)  Grants from Ministry of Transport for construction and maintenance of border roads - Rs.80.73 lakhs.

(v)  Central Assistance  outside the Finance Commissions Award for non-Plan expenditure - Rs.0.50 lakhs.

The above estimates however, do not include the Central Assistance for Plan expenditure.

Re :  Test Relief scheme to Border People.

Shri JOHNDENG POHRMEN asked : Shri STANLEY D.D NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Revenue) replied :
3. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)  Whether it is a fact that an amount for some Test Relief Schemes has been sanctioned with a view to provide employment tot he border people, who have been economically hard hit for the last many months, as a result of the failure of pan - leaf market and also on account of the failure of crops caused by excessive rains and the pest attack?

3. (a) - Presumably the Hon. Member refers to the Test Relief Schemes sanctioned for the border areas of Jowai Sub division. It is a fact that Test Relief Scheme have been sanctioned to provide employment to the border people who were economically hard hit for the failure of pan - leaf market.

(b) If so, what is the amount?

(b) - The Relief Schemes were sanctioned in two installments on the basis of the reports of the sub divisional officer, Jowai, and the amounts were Rs.19.500 and Rs.45.000

Re : Collecting and Lifting of Forest Produces by Pakistanis.

Shri J.D. POHRMEN  asked : Shri STANDLEY D.D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Forests, etc.) Replied :
4 Will the Minister in charge of Forests be pleased to State 

(a) Whether Government is aware of the fact that collecting and lifting of forest produces like valuable timbers, bamboos, canes,  sand, etc, by the Pakistanis is in the Prang Area, a portion of the Narpuh Reserved Forests is a regular feature?

4. (a) - There are such reports but only one case was detected.

(b) If the question is in the affirmative whether Government is contemplating any necessary steps for preventing such collection and lifting?

(b) & (c) - The Forest Officer at Jaliakhola is assisted by the local Border Security Force whenever necessary.

 

(c) Whether Government is also aware of the fact that guarding  the forests of those areas by the forests staff stationed somewhere at Jaliakhola is not at all satisfactory?

The present arrangements are satisfactory.

5. Will the Minister in charge of Forests be pleased to state 

(a) Whether Government is aware of the report that of late there has been encroachment in the Prank Area committed by some unauthorised persons?

5. (a) & (b) - Yes, a forest officer was deputed to enquire into the allegation. No encroachment was however, found till the date of inspection, i.e. 20th March  1971.

(b) If the answer to question (a) above is in the affirmative, the particular the persons involved, and the steps taken by the Government in this regard?

Re : Permission to reside in the Dawki area for cultivation

Shri J.D. POHRMEN  asked : Shri STANDLEY D.D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Forests, etc.) Replied :
6. Will the Minister - in charge of Forests be pleased to state.

(a) Whether it is a fact that Government has granted permission to some individuals residing in the Dawki areas for cultivation in Prang area, a  portion of the Narpuh Reserved Forest?

6. (a) - Yes.

(b) If the reply to the question above is in the affirmative what are  the terms and conditions of the permission?

(b) - A copy of the agreement is laid on the Table of the House.

Re : Irrigation work at Kwei and Lalai valley

Shri S.B. SUTNGA  asked : Shri S.D.D NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Agriculture. etc) replied
7. Will the Minister in charge of Agriculture be pleased to state - 

(a) Whether Government proposes to undertake the irrigation work at Kwei and Lalai Valley during the year 1971-72?

7. (a) Yes, Government propose to undertake the Irrigation work at Kwei during the year 1971-72 but in the case of Letein Valley (Lalai) the Government has to undertake a proper survey in detail before a special type of irrigation can be taken up to suit the peculiar condition of the valley due to the occurrence of limestone deposits.

(c)  If not, why not?

(b) & (c) - Do not arise.


VOTING ON DEMANDS FOR ADVANCE GRANTS.

MR. SPEAKER :- Before we take up the next item, I would like to inform the House that I have received a letter from the Governor informing the House that the is very pleased to know that a motion of thanks has been adopted by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly with regard to his address.

        I am reading out the letter :- 

GOVERNMENT OF ASSAM

Raj Bhavan

Shillong.

March 26, 1971

        "I thank you for your D.O. No. 347 / MLA dated March 25, 1971 informing me about the motion adopted by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in regard to my Address. I take this opportunity of sending you and the Assembly my best wishes.

Prof R.S Lyngdoh M.A.
Speaker, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,
Shillong.

Yours Sincerely,

Sd/- B.K. Nehru


INTRODUCTION CONSIDERATION AND PASSING OF 
THE MEGHALAYA APPROPRIATION (VOTE ON ACCOUNT) BILL, 1971.

MR. SPEAKER :- The next item in today's list of business is voting on the Demand for Advance Grants for the year, 1971-72.

Shri BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH, Finance Minister) :- Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount not exceeding Rs.3,90,69,000 be granted to the Governor in advance to defray the charges year ending the 31st March, 1972 under grants shown in the Schedule.

MR. SPEAKER :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that an amount not exceeding Rs.3,90,69,000 be granted to the Governor in advance to defray the charges in respect of different departments during the first quarter of the financial year ending the 31st March, 1972 under grants shown in the schedule.

The Motion is carried.

        Before I request the Finance Minister to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1971 let the necessary papers  be distributed to the hon. Members.

        Now the Finance Minister to beg leave of the House to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1971.

SHRI BRINGTON BUHAI LYNGDOH, (Minister Finance) :- Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) bill, 1971.

MR. SPEAKER :- Motion moved, The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation Vote on Account ) Bill, 1971.

        The Motion is carried. Leave is granted to introduce the Bills.

        Before the Finance Minister introduces the Bill let me read the a message from the Governor :


Message from the Governor

        "In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-Section (1) of Section 37 of the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969 (Central Act No.55. of 1969) I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Assam exercising my function as Governor in relation to Meghalaya hereby recommend the introduction in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly of the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill , 1971.

Dated Raj Bhavan

B.K. Nehru,

Shillong

Governor.

The 23rd March, 1971."

SHRI B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister Finance) :- I beg to introduce the Bill, 

MR. SPEAKER :- Motion moved. Now the question is that the Bill be introduced.

        The motion is carried and the Bill is introduced.

        (The Secretary read out the title of the Bill)    

        Before, I request the Finance Minister to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on account_ Bill, 1971 be taken in to consideration let me read a message from the Governor :-

Message from the Governor.

        "In exercise of the powers conferred by sub - section (3) of section 37 of the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya)  Act, 1969 (Central Act 55 of 1969) I, Braj Kumar Nehru Governor of Assam, exercising my functions as Governor in relation to Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the consideration of the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1971.

Dated Raj Bhavan 

B.K. Nehru

Shillong

Governor."

The 23rd March,. 1971."

        Now the Finance Minister to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1971, be taken into consideration.

SHRI B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister Finance) :- Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1971 be taken in to consideration.

MR. SPEAKER :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The House question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account).

The Motion is carried

        As there is no amendment to the Bill, I request the Finance Minister to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1971 be passed.

SHRI B.B LYNGDOH (Minister Finance) :- Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (vote on account) Bill, 1971 be passed.

MR. SPEAKER :- Motion moved.

        Will any hon. Members like to discuss on the Motion ? (After a pause).

        Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (vote on Account) Bill, 1971 be passed.

        The motion is carried and the Bill is passed.

        In consultation with the leader of the House, item No.4 be taken up in the afternoon Session, at 2 p.m . So I adjourn the House till 2.p.m today.


Discussion on the influx of refugees from East Pakistan.

The Assembly met at 2 p.m with the (Speaker in the Chair)

Mr. Speaker :- Now, we will start this afternoon session with item No.4

        I have received a notice from Shri D.D. Pugh. M.L.A supported by Sarvashri Brojendro Sangma, M.L.A and S.P Swer to raise a discussion under Rule 50 of the Rules of procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on the influx of Pakistani refugees in to Meghalaya due to recent political unrest in East Pakistan.

SHRI D.D. Pugh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset I would like o express my gratitude to you personally for having admitted the notice which I have on the 27th of March, 1971 wherein I had indicated my intention to raise a discussion on a matter of urgent public importance. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Leader of the House in consultation with whom, you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, have fixed this particular date and time for discussion on the matter raised by me. I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the entire. House is fully aware a discussion this  afternoon has sprung from the events and the situation now obtaining in East Pakistan. Since the elections to the Constituent/Assembly of Pakistan were held and more so when the news came that under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Awami League had scored a landslide victory over its political rivals in Pakistan, I have been watching and studying the events in Pakistan with much greater interest and care than that given to the events happening in other parts of the world. When, therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, General Yahya Khan the President of Pakistan postponed the sitting of the constituent Assembly I began to have my serious double. Later on during the parleys held between General Yahya Khan and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dacca and also from the general conference and discussions held between General Yahya Khan and all the top leaders of Pakistan I watched the proceedings with anxiety. Finally when the news came of the complete breakdown of the talks and the reimposition of military rule in East Pakistan, and also of the unilateral declaration made by the Sheik Mujibur Rahman to the effect that East Pakistan had become an independent country. I naturally became very worried. Mr. Speaker, Sir, news of the breakdown of the talks, and of the reimposition of military rule in East Pakistan and of the declaration made by Sheikjh Mujibur Rahman, this to my mind acted as smoke signals if I may use that phrase, Mr. Speaker, Sir, smoke signal, indicated heralding the news of the kindling of fire and lighting bonfire. Then ultimately came the news attack on and we the killing of as some of the newspaper had said, innocent unarmed civilians. This news was not only most disturbing but was also a cause of great concern. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel concerned over the happenings in East Pakistan for various reasons. I shall not go into all the reasons that have caused me to feel concerned over the happenings in East Pakistan but I crave your indulgence to allow me to cite one or two reasons.

        The first reason which, I believe, has caused me to feel concerned abut the events in East Pakistan today is the fact that the actual scene of occurrence the scene where events are taking place so rapidly today is truly very very close to us, a State and as a country. The proximity of the scene of action I believe, has caused me to feel concerned over the happenings in East Pakistan I also believe, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that it would be only a man without a heart who would not feel concerned with what was happening with his next door neighbour. There is a saying to the effect that to laugh with those who laugh and weep with those who weep is a natural human trait. Is it, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I ask, any surprise that we today in this House assembled for this specific reason to express our concern over the events taking place in East Pakistan and the people who are involved in it. I further ask, Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether it is any surprise that several, in fact, many legislators in India including Members of Parliament have expressed concern over this matter. If therefore, General Yahya Khan by implication shows his ignorance to the basic fact of life and he accuses our Union Government and the entire nation of interfering with the internal affairs of sovereign democratic free country, what can we do or what can we say?

        The second reason, Mr. Speaker, Sir, which I believe has caused me to feel this deep concern for the people who are suffering in East Pakistan is the fact that teeming millions, some say 75 millions, some say 80 millions not having been associated with the Census taken there. I do not know the exact figures. But whether it is 75 or 80 millions, it is a very large population of men, women and children who are involved in the events in that country. And therefore, I feel that  it is only humane to feel concerned that such a large population of men, and they also say old men, women and children who over night became the victims or potential victims of this senseless killing at the hands of the army of their own land. This is something which has filled me with a sense of horror.

        The last reason that I would like, with your permission Sir, to put forward before the House and which I believe is the cause of my concern over this question is that I see that the events of the past few days, that is shooting massacring of the innocent civilians who are reported to have been unarmed for the last day is the outcome, selfish outcome of some one's desire to suppress and crush down the people fighting for their democratic rights of equality and justice. This last reason put forward by me  I believe, Mr. Speaker, Sir, will be very easily understood by you and also the hon. member of this House. I say this because I am conscious of the fact that we are all members and citizens of one of the largest democratic units in the world, and therefore, I believe that the hon. members will find no difficulty in appreciating the justification and validity of this last reason put forward by me to explain why I feel so deeply concerned. I believe, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the entire House will appreciate and will not only appreciate, but will also share my concern for the people of East Pakistan. I would, therefore like to take this opportunity to urge upon the House to agree with me when I say that it is only in the fitness or things that this House do place on record that we are unanimously expressing our deep concern for the people of East Pakistan who are now undergoi9ng sufferings trials and tribulations.

        Finally, as a part of the statement, I am expected to make under the rules, I would like to state that it was when I saw the news item in one of the dailies to the effect that an influx in Pakistani nationals has already begun and that about 2 hundred Pakistanis have entered in to Tripura the other day.

MR. SPEAKER :- What is the name of the Daily?

SHRI D.D. PUGH :- I saw it in the Assam Tribune, Sir. I forgot the date. It is about three days back; it must be 27th.

        So, as I was saying , Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was when I saw that news item that the idea of submitting a notice came to me. I had no intention at that time, I have no intention to day to certify to the authenticity of the news or otherwise that I am not referring to. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I took that opportunity as a good reminder of the possibilities in the future. It is my belief that if this senseless killing continues unabated in East Pakistan, a time will come hen the people out of sheer desperation will go about in search of refugee. Some may go to the east, some to the west, some to the north and some  to the south. Whatever may be the position, I have no doubt, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that some are bound to come into the State of Meghalaya. Now, supposing there is an influx of Pakistani nationals in to India particularly into Meghalaya, I would like us to imagine what to possibilities would be then. In the first instance, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe we could refuse and resist the entry of such people into our country on the pure and simple reason that they do not belong to our country and I can't also imagine that in our earnestness to prevent the entry of such people in to our country we should  take resort to shooting and killing. We could not imagine our shooting down at once the helpless people coming into India or trying to come into India with the intention of seeking refugee. That is one of the possibilities. The other possibility is that our Union Government may decide to advise the various State Government concerned to allow the people in need of refugee to enter India and it is with this second alternative, the seine possibility that I am more concerned. We have had occasion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to discuss this very point; at a other forum but by way of reminder I would like to state as a suggestion for consideration of our Government to make all necessary preparations so that we are not caught on the wrong foot when people do come, if they come at all.

MR. SPEAKER :- Is it on political ground or on humanitarian ground.

Shri D.D. Pugh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thought that by implication the entire length of my brief statement had indicated that whatever I am advocating is purely on humanitarian consideration. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I resume my seat I would once again urge upon our Government to take all necessary precautionary measures and in so urging the Government I would also  like to assure the Leader of the House and the Government and the entire country of my own personal willingness to cooperate in what ever humble manner my help may be required. Thank you very much, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Since many hon. Members would like to participate, I would request each one of them not to exceed 10 minutes Mr. S.P. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a man whose heart and home is very close to East Pakistan, the political crisis in Pakistan which now led East Pakistan in to a Civil war as raised by the Hon. Member Mr. D.D. Pugh is of great importance. As we are very close neighbours of East Pakistan I feel very much concerned about the happening there. We know that in time of war there is no justification for every action. In such a situation many innocent men, Women, and children will be caught in panic and as such panic stricken people are bound to seek refugee anywhere. It may happen that such people may cross over and enter into Meghalaya as they did in other Indian territories as already mentioned by the Hon. Member, Mr. Pugh. If the exodus of such refugees is great and if it is allowed in a stray manner on our side, I believe that hunger and thirst will force them to come act that will provoke our people along the border and then it will greatly disturb, our domestic tranquility especially that domestic tranquility amongst our border people. Moreover, anti-social elements may creep in and capitalist the whole situation. I am afraid that such a state of things is allowed  to occur it may be take the shape of for the worst. Therefore, our people should be alerted and I feel that it becomes our duty both of the people and the Government to provide such refugee with all possible help, shelter and the bare necessities of life. As the hon. Member, Mr. D.D. Pugh has said, if it happens at all in Meghalaya and if these panic - stricken may infiltrate in the form of refugee in great number, they cannot and they should not be turned back at the present stage"

        I feel that we should keep a watchful eye and take all precautions to rise to the occasion if it comes at all. Some time back when the mandate of the people of East Pakistan was made known to the world, I have been watching with great interest that a time will come when free trade and friendly relations will prevail. Never the less, inspite of all the horrors and atrocities that had overtaken unarmed civilians in East Pakistan, let us hope that for the best. Thank you Sir.

SHRI BROJENDRO SANGMA :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support the short notice motion given by the hon. member, Mr. D.D. Pugh in connection with the present situation prevailing in East Pakistan. The main object for the which this short notice is given has been clarified by the Hon. member Mr. D.D. Pugh. It is known at all that the fighting and killing for the liberation from the Army rule is going on a large scale in East Pakistan and men, women and children are being killed bloodshed is taking place the like of which has never occurred in the history of the world. We, as immediate neighbours should express our sympathy to them, for their sufferings in the process of their struggle for the freedom of their country. I, therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, like to urge upon the House to consider the situation as a very important matter in our discussion, and express our sympathy to them and I support the short notice motion submitted by the hon. Member Mr. D.D. Pugh, With these few words, I resume my seat. Thank you, Sir.

SHRI S.J. DUNCAN :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have listened to the speeches made by the friends and would like to associate myself with the feelings expressed in regard to possible refugees coming into Meghalaya. There are certain parts of the speech made by my friend, Mr. Pugh and other, with which probably I do not like to agree entirely. I consider that this is not a forum where we should discuss the rights and wrong of a political action  in any state. This is not a forum in which we should condemn Yahya Khan or Sheik Mujibur Rahman. Those of us who have followed the events during the last two or three months, know what that the Awami League did get a landslide victory in East Pakistan. but evens happening after that, or why they have happened. I do not think it is for us to discuss after that, or why they have happened. I do think it is for us to discuss here. All that we  know now is that there is in  fighting in East Pakistan where the Martial Law Administration is using the army to fight the supporters of Sheikh Majibur Rahman. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in any strife or war there are always two sides, It is not only one side I happened to listen to the Radio one evening and by chance I got broadcast from the clandestine radio. I think it was said that Major Jia Khan was talking and according to him, he said that all people of Bangladesh will now fight to the very last. From that, one could assume that even though they may not be so well armed as the Pakistan Army located in East Pakistan, there is fighting between the  people of East Pakistan and the army of the Pakistan Government.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, in any war, not only men but women and children also suffer, When a bomb is dropped in any place, inspite of all the bombing practices, there cannot be perfect accuracy. Sometimes a bomb lands in a village, or in a very cowed locality and as a result women and children also suffer, they die. All such things happen in any war.

        Sir, I come to the point raised by my fines. Mr. Pugh in regard to deliberate a killing of men, woman and children. Well, even according to the rules of war that sort of killing should be condemned. In so far as that part of his speech is concerned, I join with him in condemning the wanton killing of women and children. The next point raised by him is the question of refugees. So far we do not know that any refugees have trekked in to Meghalaya. But is it possible that as war approaches or spreads over the country side people of East Pakistan that is from Sylhet and Mymensingh my attempt to cross over to Meghalaya in order to find shelter and refugee, But then, here also there may be two kinds of refuges. Mr. Speaker, they may be people who are fighting and carrying arms and when hard pressed by the army of Pakistan, they may try to find shelter somewhere else. I think there are international laws regarding such people. If they come unarmed, they become refugees  like other civilians but not with their arms. The question of refugees like other civilians but not with their arms. The question of refugees is also, I believe, a subject matter under the Central Government but that does not mean that our Government here should take no notice at all. If there are  people coming to our area the steps which should be taken I supposes, are the steps which we are human beings should take in such cases until there is an organisation set up for giving food, help and refugee to such refugees.

        So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in regard to the wanton killing of women and children, I join with Mr. Pugh and other in condemning it. In so far as civilian refugee into Meghalaya are concerned, I also say that we should do all we can for them.

        Thank you very much.

DR. S.C. DEB :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we cannot do anything much in respect of this problem except giving expression to our feelings for what is happening in East Pakistan today. We can just express our sympathy by taking a resolution here expressing our concern and sympathy towards the sufferers.

        A large influx of people in to our country for shelter is expected if there be a horrible fight going on for a long time on the other side often border. We should keep ourselves prepared for such eventualities in consultation with the Government of India because it is the concern of the Central Government. If the troubles continue in the neighbouring country, the economy of Meghalaya will be disturbed and the people specially of the border areas adversely affected.

        Only a few years back in undivided India we had been the members of the same family and the people on the other side of the border were our kith and kin. For what is happening there, i.e. killing of unarmed innocent, people, women and children, we can at least for the present express our sympathy at their distress even though we might be thinking of doing something concrete and positive. We cannot help them much in their country but shall try to do so when they come to our borders. Of course the Central Government will decide what is to be done in this connection and we shall have to act accordingly.

        Parliament has already expressed grave concern and sympathy for the suffering people across the border. The Govt of Meghalaya should also adopt a resolution in the same line to express our feelings. I do not think we can do anything, more just at the moment to case this grave situation with these few words, I resume my seat.

MR. NURUL ISLAM :- .. .. .. .. (BENGALI WORDS) page 18

Shrimati Maysalin War :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the atrocities committed in East Pakistan in the last 48 hours have resulted in the loss of more than 3 lakhs of human lives including women, children, and the aged, and by now the toll might have gone further up. Besides there is bound to be indescribable suffering of the people and in such a situation every capable person will try to escape the horrors of the fighting even by crossing the frontiers.

        The question now is how to deal with the problem of refugee if it comes. This is a serious problem that our State of Meghalaya will have to face. The refugees will come in rags, ill-fed, and perhaps some may be infected with epidemics and this will be a menace to our border people. In anticipation of such mass influx the Government should set up transit camps fully equipped with medical supplies, food, clothing etc I wish to emphasise this fact also that the Government should take full responsibility to see that such camps are under the supervision of Rehabilitation Officers and such camps will cover the period from 2 to 3 months and then some arrangement will have to be made to move these people to other States. In conclusion, I feel that we should expressed our deepest sympathy to the people of East Pakistan. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri E.B Lyngdoh :- I very much appreciate the hon. Member for raising the subject for discussion un this House. While expressing my deep concern for the people of East Pakistan who are undergoing a difficult political crisis, I feel that it is not right and proper for me to make any comment politically. But is is a known fact that the political crisis in East Pakistan is the fight of the dictatorship against democracy. As the people of the Hills who were born and brought up  in the democracy, I feel that we should express our deepest concern to the people of East Pakistan Speaking of the influx of Pakistan nationals to our border uptil today Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have got heard any influx on Pakistani nationals to our border areas. But what I learnt from today's news, that more than 3 lakhs of people of East Pakistan were killed by the Pakistan army. This brutal killing of the unarmed civilian by the Pakistani army regardless of age and sex should be condemned. It is really an unimaginable condition of our neighbour when they are in this very state of affairs, I feel that each and everyone must have a sympathy towards the suffering people of East Pakistan. No one I think has  ever imagined that the victory of democracy in East Pakistan will lead to such a crisis where 3 lakhs of lives would be taken away within 48 hours by the brutal killing of he Pakistani army. In this respect I very much appreciate the Government of India for contemplating steps to bring to an end this want on killing and to raise this issue in U.N.O Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join hands with the hon. members who have expressed their deepest concern over the people of East Pakistan and I would like also to give my suggestions that even though we do not know about the influx of Pakistanis to our borders, yet we are not certain what will happen after a few hours or tomorrow. I feel that when the people  cross over to our border, we must show our sympathy and willingness to give them shelter and also to group them and to take care of them and when the situation returns to normalcy we shall send them back to their respective places.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the last session in my speech in the discussion on the Governor's Address, I have given my remarks on the situation of our people in our people in the border are, as to how they are facing diff8icult problems, particularly economic problem and I have also appreciated Government for taking steps to relieve the border people. But this political situation now will hamper our Government in implementing the proposed steps.

        In conclusion, Sir, I as a human being strongly condemn this brutal killing by the Pakistani army in East Pakistan and with these few words I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- Before I call upon the Chief Minister to reply, I would like to tell the hon. Members that there is still time, If the hon, members would like to make observation, he will please stand up.

Shri P. RIPPLE KYNDIAH :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, all eyes are on Pakistan and our ears are trained to radio set to get the latest news about East Pakistan which was only has now dearly been proclaimed as Bangladesh. It is indeed a mater of great concern, and of deep anxiety to all of us to know the events that are fast taking place in East Pakistan and I share with the feelings of the Hon. Members who have expressed a sense of sorrow, a sense of deep feeling on this question. In fact I will not take the floor to day just to agree or disagree with anyone as to what they have said, but Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am aware that within the shortest time possible fixed by you, I shall try to express my feelings on this question, a question which I think is not only vital for the sake of India's future but in the interest of the world itself Because here is a question which not only concerns the fighting between one section of the people and the other in the State, but it is a question of a death-battle between the forces of democracy and the forces of military dictatorship. Therefore, it concerns us most where the democratic country is wedded to the basic democratic ideals and this has been the atmosphere in the last elections that took place in India. If we are really the lovers of democracy, I think it is our duty to think that these ideals of democracy extend themselves to the democratic State because we know that the future of India is linked up with what is taking place in every country. Here is a question of a person in whose dynamic leadership the people of East Pakistan or Bangladesh have galvanized as one force, as one man to fight against tyranny, against the atrocities of a military editorship. Therefore, it concerns us very much if we profess ourselves to be lovers of democracy. I had felt and wish that the situation in East Pakistan would return to normal democratic function after the election that took place in December, 1970 in Pakistan and in fact,  everybody was thinking a new era coming in the Pakistan and the fact is that even the President of Pakistan himself, General Yahya Khan has mentioned Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the future Prime Minister of Pakistan. But by the twist of the tongue he is now condemned as enemy. Number, one I think this is important for us to be approved of. Now, my feeling in this question is that here is a case of a rape of democracy, here is a case where the future of democracy itself is at stake, here is a case where the military machine  the might of the military of the Pakistan is are used against unarmed women, children, student, traders who come out to fight for freedom, It is a fight between freedom and the law of the jungle. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very much concerned with this. I am aware of the fact that the situation as it exists today in Pakistan, is also a matter of importance to Pakistan, but at the same time, as a human beings, I feel that it our duty to condemn any such action if it happens at any part of the world and much more so when it happens just across the border near, us, as Mr. Pugh is concerned about it. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am much concerned with this question. Now we are getting conflicting news of what is really happening in East Pakistan Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has already proclaimed the birth of a new state known as Independent Republic of Bangladesh. On the other hand, we see proclamation by General Yahya Khan condemning Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, as enemy number one. All these are there. But what concerns us is the fact that fighting is going, on in such a way that thousands and lakhs of people are being killed, and if our information is correct, there is some form of a genocide going on. This is a matter that is a concern not only of this House, but it is a mater concerning the Human Rights Organisations itself, It is a fit case or placing before the United Nations Organisation. Therefore, I am one with the hon. Member as to why we should take humanitarian action in so far as the case of the people coming from across the border is concerned. It is duty to see that they are given shelter on the border line that they are given food, that they are given clothing and that they are provided with medical facilities. All these things are necessary. In fact, we should be prepared for such an eventuality. But at the same time, I think I should express myself that it is not not for this House to take any political action; it is for the Government of India to take such action. But what has happened in East Pakistan is a matter that has to be condemned by all of us and it is a fact that we should take serious view because of basic importance involved in it. Now we have heard about the use of artilleries tanks, bombs by aero planes, the use of cannon shells on unarmed people. If these things are going on, i think Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will affect us in some form or other. We are so near to East Pakistan, People are being killed, I feel that the fight that is going on in East Pakistan is grim Organised military action is there and the border people are fighting. We have heard in the radio sets, even women have been advised to use whatever weapon they could gather to fight against the armed men. All these distressed us every much. I do not know what kind of action this House should take. But apart from condemning this action which brings about a large massacre of people, I feel that we, as a State of Meghalaya, should now gear up our administrative machinery. We should  alert our people in the border area. I feel that after sometime, normalcy will return. I do not speak of it. But I feel that the atmosphere prevailing now in East Pakistan and with the views that the world press is expressing itself. I feel that after a very short time, normalcy will return. It will be our duty again to give a food send off to those people who come to the  border line, and also to allow them to go back to their motherland. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am aware of the time limit that you have imposed, but let me also share with this House about the immediate matter which I feel that we should do as a House and request  through you, the Government of Meghalaya. I know there are many social and welfare organisations which are doing good work I think it the Government of Meghalaya request these organisations, they may even now send their workers and do whatever, they can to help the refugees that may be coming in the next few days. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. member? (After a pause).

        So, I request the Chief Minister to wind up the discussion.

Shri W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am indeed grateful the hon. members for giving me this opportunity to know their feelings and sentiments with regard to the situation prevailing in East Pakistan, It has given me an opportunity to assess the feelings of the members on the developments across the border. The House is fully aware of the developments which have taken place in East Bengal during the last few days following the abrupt break down of talks between the President of Pakistan and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The armed forces of Pakistan have been attacking the civilian population and there  is deep distress and suffering in that country. Following elections in Pakistan hope have been raised that responsible and enlighten leadership in East Bengal would help to improve relation and resumption of trade between India and Pakistan. These hopes have been belied by recent developments.

        In Meghalaya we have no intention to interfere in the internal affairs of our neighbour. But in sheer humanity we cannot but express our sympathy for the people of East Bengal. Considering the severity of repressive action of the Army in East Bengal, we fear a large number of people may flee from their homes and cross the border into Meghalaya in search of safety, shelter and food. The sufferings of the people are bound to move the hearts of all who cherish human fellowship and love of liberty. The Government of Meghalaya, in consultation with the Government of India, will be prepared to do what ever it can in its own humble way to help relieve the suffering.

        In doing so, the points raised by Mr. Duncan with regard to proper screening and also taking adequate measures to prevent spread of epidemic will be looked in to. All these things which link with this type of relief will be given due consideration. Mr. Speaker, Sir, at this stage I do not want to go into the details on what is going to happen in future or what measures will be taken by the Government. But I can assure the Members and the people through this. House that we shall not shirk our responsibility in giving humanitarian service for those who are suffering. I have been trying to get the latest information whether there has been influx in to our area. Upto 1.30 P.M today according to my information there has been no influx of refugees. As I have already stated, it may not happen today but it may happen in the next few days. If the struggle and sufferings continue in East Bengal, such a situation will arise and, as I said, whatever is possible to render  relief to the sufferings of the people will be done and necessary precautions will be taken in consultation with the Government of India. I must also make it clear to the hon. Members that we are keeping close vigilance along the border and necessary measures and schemes will be taken up, as may be directed by the Government of India from time to time.

        I have no doubt that the House shares the sentiments I have expressed and I and my colleagues can count on the willing co-operation of all members of the House in this humanitarian task. Thank you Sir.


ADJOURNMENT

MR. SPEAKER :- Now the discussion has come to a close, Since we have no other business, for to day the House stands adjourned till 10 AM on Wednesday, the 31st March, 1971.

R.T. RYMBAI
Dated Shillong Secretary
The 30th March 1971 Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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