Shillong, April 6: The Hynniewtrep Border Dispute Redressal Forum (HBDRF) has sought the intervention of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) FR Kharkongor for inclusion of residents of 43 villages under Block-I area in the electoral rolls of the state.
After a meeting with the CEO, HBDRF spokesperson Thomas Passah told reporters that inclusion of the 43 villages will ensure individuals staying in these villages to obtain EPIC from their original place of residence.
“As of now the practice is that the people who are staying in the border area have EPICs and not in their original place of residence but from a village which is very much inside Meghalaya which is a non-disputed village”, he said.
This might bring a controversy while settling the border dispute. “That is why we have requested the CEO to look into this matter. However, from the office of the CEO it is clear that only an individual can be included in the electoral roll by filling up Form-6,” Passah said.
Passah said the Forum has decided to go back to these villages and enlighten the people on the need to fill up Form-6 as well as mentioning their original place of residence instead of a fake village.
“Accordingly we will let it go through the process of enrolment and will see the next step whether the CEO’s office accept or reject the application,” he said.
Passah said the objective of the Forum is to take up this agenda to ensure that the people do not lose the lands that originally belong to the state of Meghalaya.
He said the villages which do not figure in the electoral rolls are the most deprived in all aspects be it in terms of health, education and road connectivity adding villagers staying in these areas are deprived of basic human amenities and there is human rights violation.
Stating that the government has always ensured that the EVM machine reaches to the remotes of the places in the whole country, Passah said, “We need to ask a question that why not these basic human amenities like medical, schools, road connectivity don’t get there.”
“We hope that when we meet again with the people of these villages as we will have a meeting soon we will convey the message that they should enroll in the electoral rolls of Meghalaya,” he said.