SHILLONG- Days after a high-level committee in Meghalaya recommended relocation of evicting Sikhs staying at ‘Punjabi Lane’ in Shillong, Sikh groups have started opposing the move.
The Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC), representative of Sikhs in Shillong, has strongly opposed the move, saying it will “fight tooth and nail” to stop the government from carrying out the drive. The HPC secretary Gurjit Singh told PTI.
Singh also said that the 2.5-acre colony, located close to the state’s biggest traditional market, served as lifeline to many families, who had set up shops and other businesses in the area. He further added, “We will die for our land but won’t allow any illegal, unlawful, unethical and unjust action by the Meghalaya government.”
The state govt had taken the decision to relocate the Sikhs from the Them lew Mawlong area of the state capital Shillong, following a recommendation by a high-level committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong. The govt intends to use the area to house govt employees.
Around 350 Sikh families live in the area, where they have been living for over two centuries. They claim that the land was donated by a Khasi tribal chieftain to them before 1863. However, the tribal communities in Meghalaya consider them as outsiders, and want to evict them from the heart of the capital city.