Harijan Colony residents not to move out, threatens drastic steps

Shillong, Nov 1: The residents of Harijan Colony said they will live and die in Punjabi lane after the state government took possession of the area.

The residents on Monday also threatened to give sleepless nights to the state government for its move to take possession of the land at Them Iew Mawlong.


A meeting of the general body of the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) presided over by  its secretary Gurjit Singh, Pastor Himanshu and Pirthi Das was held on Sunday and adopted several resolutions to socially, legally, religiously and politically challenge the intentions of the state government.

Singh said the HPC and the devotees of Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar, the Hindu temples and the Church of North India -all located in the area have categorically rejected the government’s move while declaring, “We will die in our homes here rather than be forcibly evicted.”

Singh informed that the disturbed residents, in the last two days went into a huddle and examined in detail the ramifications of the government’s manoeuvres.

“We have examined the latest developments and let me say with all the authority at my command that we will give sleepless nights to the government. The assurances of the government do not cut ice, in fact, they are full of loopholes and obfuscation of facts and figures. Let it be known to all concerned that this is a fight for our survival and habitat and we will spare no effort to win this battle of honour, dignity and legitimate rights,” Singh said.

He said the tripartite agreement between the state government, the Acting Syiem of Hima Mylliem and the Shillong Municipal Board is “patently illegal, malafide and a clear violation of the constitutional and fundamental rights of the residents of Punjabi Lane, whose forefathers came here some 200 years ago and who have served Meghalaya honestly and diligently doing manual scavenging and other menial tasks.”

“It is ironic that instead of acknowledging the work of our people, the thankless government of Meghalaya and some groups are hell-bent on throwing us out without taking our opinion and forcing its policy merely because the area now falls into a central part of the city,” he said..

Singh said the three chiefs of the religious institutions -Gurdwara Sahib, Hindu temple and Church will petition the office of the Governor of Meghalaya seeking his intervention as the government plans the blasphemous vicious move to demolish these places of worship for their petty pecuniary ends.

The HPC secretary pointed out that “legally, we are in a strong position and we have no doubt whatsoever that the High Court of Meghalaya status quo orders have been violated by the current moves of the government and when challenged the courts will throw out and nullify this act of the state government taken under extraneous pressure and for political considerations”.

The harijan committee has approached the National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis and the National Human Rights Commission and “we expect them to reach Shillong to listen to our grievances.”

The Sikh Sangat of Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar will start round the clock religious prayers supplicating to God to help them in this hour of crisis.

The president of the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Dabar said, “Religious places of worship are sacrosanct and cannot be demolished under any circumstances. I shudder to think of the consequences, should the Meghalaya government make a misadventure in this direction.” Pastor Himanshu, while addressing the residents of the area at the Sunday meeting said, “Undoubtedly, we are in a very difficult situation. Let us stay united and pray so that better sense prevails and the powers that be are blessed to think of the common good and not just for a select section of the population.

“While earlier, we have had an intervention by Sikh bodies and various quasi-judicial commissions, there is now growing interest amongst Sikhs across the globe, who have assured us that they will join this holy fight with the government of Meghalaya to save our home and hearth”, said Singh, sharing concerns expressed by the Sikhs.

“The battle has begun, not ended,”  Singh reiterated on behalf of his people living under fear and pressure.

Govt ready to talk to Harijan Colony leaders

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Kindly Disable Ad Blocker