Shillong, Nov 25: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and the Shillong Socio-Cultural Assamese Students’ Association (SSASA) have jointly issued a statement clarifying that the recent incident and the ongoing agitations in the city are not ethnic-oriented or a Khasi-Assamese conflict but are directed towards both the Governments of Assam and Meghalaya.
The two organisations have 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 appeal to both communities to refrain from mudslinging and posting negative comments, especially on 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,” read the joint statement.
The two NGOs also condemned the acts of violence and 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 of Meghalaya on Tuesday morning.
“Both the governments of Assam and Meghalaya have always had an indifferent 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,” they said.
They further said the student groups 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 have supported each other during the Anti-Foreigners’ Movement in both states.
It also stated that the SSASA was 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 statement said.
In addition, the KSU and the SSASA have jointly demand for the setting up of police outposts by Meghalaya along the sensitive border areas.