Shillong ( Meghalaya), Nov 25 : In a joint a statement issued by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and the Shillong Socio-Cultural Assamese Students’ Association (SSASA) in view of the current tense situation arising due to the border conflict where the precious lives of 5 Khasi villagers and 1 Assam forest official were lost due to firing and violence at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills on Nov 22, the KSU and SSASA strongly condemned such acts of violence and offered their condolences to the families of the departed souls.
Both the organisations clarified that the recent incident and the ongoing agitations are not ethnic-oriented or a Khasi-Assamese conflict but are directed towards both the Governments of Assam and Meghalaya for their indifference and lethargic approach in resolving the persisting border disputes for the past 50 years resulting in the loss of several lives.
It is understandable that the common citizen of Assam has nothing to do with the incident and thus, it is imperative that the cordial relationship between the Khasis and the Assamese that had existed since time immemorial should not be corroded by misunderstandings and misinformation at this juncture.
The joint statement stated that the relationship between the Khasis and the Assamese are not merely in terms of being neighbours but on looking back in history, one will find a plethora of evidences on collaborations, exchange of cultures and trade. The joint statement also added that Khasi archers were part of the contingent of the army of the great General Lachit Borphukan who fought against the invading Mughals.
Similarly, students’ group of both communities, the KSU and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) are components of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) sharing common objectives and aspirations. The KSU and AASU supported each other during the Anti Foreigners’ Movement in both states. The SSASA is an active supporter of the Khasi community during the tumultuous period of the 1970-1980s in Meghalaya when there was a state wide agitation against foreign nationals in Shillong.
Till date, both the organisations are working together to maintain the bond between the Khasis and Assamese in Meghalaya.
The KSU and SSASA conveyed that the fight is against the Assam Government and the Government of Meghalaya for their nonchalance towards solving border issues which have plagued the lives of common people living in these areas from time to time and not against the Assamese community whether in Shillong or elsewhere in Meghalaya.
Both the organisations appealed to the general public not to be swayed by rumours and misinformation but to ensure that the brotherhood is maintained by both communities, especially in Shillong and Guwahati. The two organisations also appeaed l to both communities to refrain from mudslinging and posting negative comments, especially in social media which might lead to unwanted situations but to understand that both communities are eagerly looking for an early solution to the border disputes so that both the communities can live with dignity and in harmony.
The KSU and the SSASA also jointly demanded setting up of police outposts by Meghalaya along the sensitive border areas, the arrest and punishment of the people involved in the firing incident in accordance with the law and the immediate solution to the vexed border disputes taking into account the mandate of the border residents.