During his meeting with Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma, Assam legislator from North Karimganj, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha has asked the Chief Minister to stop all kinds of harassment and discrimination against the Bengali citizens of the state.
Purkayastha, has submitted a letter to the Chief Minister.
“I plead before you to immediately ensure the rule of law and stop all kinds of harassment and discrimination on the Bengali citizens in Meghalaya. For the sake of maintaining peace and harmony, we would also expect from your end to give a clear message to those groups, who are banking on divisive stances, have been going for unlawful acts resulting in unrest and ethnic divide,” Purkayastha said in his letter to the CM on Tuesday.
The MLA alleged that in the last few months, the Bengalis of Meghalaya have been subjected to atrocities – both physically and mentally.
Citing a few recent incidences of outrage against the Bengali community in the state, he said the continual threats and intimidations are thrown towards the Bengalis living in Ichamati and Bholaganj area since February 2020, unlawfully identifying them as ‘illegal migrants’, have made their day-to-day life miserable making it hard for them to carry on with their regular livelihood.
He said during the initial period of lockdown in April-May 2020, the Khasi Students Union has illegally run checkposts on NH-37 at its entry point from Barak Valley harassing those plying in the name of infiltration checking.
On July 3, six Bengali boys were attacked by a mob when they went to play basketball in the Lawsohtun, Shillong. This has ignited serious repercussions in the entire Bengali community of the North-eastern region, especially of our Barak Valley region.
He said during the end of October, the so-called KSU went on displaying posters all across Shillong with the message – “All Meghalaya Bengalis are Bangladeshis” instigating inter-community conflicts in Meghalaya based on false and provocative narrative.
The MLA also said on November 29, the Ramakrishna Mission situated in Jail Road, Shillong was allegedly closed and the main gate was locked by some Khasi students.
Stating that the brotherhood and umbilical relation between the Khasis and the Bengalis are under threat at Meghalaya, Purkayastha said the present act by some group to sell the divisive narrative of ‘native vs outsider’ would only malign the long-existing social texture of this Hills.
“The Bengalis residing in Meghalaya are not intruders or anti-nationals, they are bonafide citizens of India. Identifying all of them as ‘Bangladeshis’ is audacious and an act of disrespect to the entire Bengali community,” he said.
He said it is a very well-known and established fact that these Bengalis have been residing in the state for generations adding since time immemorial, even before the British era, the Bengalis have been nurturing the mutual co-existence and respect with indigenous Khasis, Jayantias, and Garos.
“The contributions of the Bengalis towards building the present Meghalaya cannot be denounced. The present approach and hyper-action of some groups in Meghalaya based on some perception or intention whatsoever, towards the Bengalis have pained us and made us aggrieved,” he stated in the letter.
Appreciating the step taken by some of the eminent Khasi intellectuals and other well-placed citizens to condemn such divisive campaigns against the Bengalis and strongly voiced their anguish, he said they have also appealed for immediate remedial measures and restore a sense of confidence among the Bengali people.
Meanwhile, the MLA also appealed to the chief minister to take positive and concrete measures for ensuring the safety, security, and livelihood of ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities living in the state.