A high-level delegation, which has been rushed to Shillong by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, on Wednesday assured the Punjabi settlers there of full support to protect their fundamental rights.
The delegation, led by Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, met many members of the Sikh community settled in Meghalaya and is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday.
“The Punjab government will take all possible steps to bring the current dispute to an amicable settlement,” said Randhawa, adding that infringement of the civil rights of the Sikhs settled in Shillong for over 200 years would not be allowed at any cost.
Randhawa added that Amarinder Singh was personally in touch with his Meghalyan counterpart and was monitoring the situation closely.
Appreciating Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for his efforts to diffuse the tension, Randhawa said Amarinder Singh had taken serious view of the media reports of threats being issued to Sikhs in Shillong, and had spoken to Sangma urging him to ensure foolproof security and safety of all the families.
The local Sikhs told the delegation that the administration had dubbed the area where they were settled as a slum and wanted them to evict the place.
The local Sikhs had contributed immensely to the state of Meghalaya and should be integrated, the delegation felt.
The delegation also visited Gurdwara Nanak Darbar, where gurdwara President Gurjeet Singh apprised them of the lease status of the premises and complained that attempts were being by the incumbent government in Meghalaya to forcibly evict them.
The gurdwara management had filed a contempt petition in the Meghalaya High Court, Gurjeet told the delegation.
Apart from Randhawa, the delegation includes MP Jasbir Singh Dimpa and MLAs Kulbir Singh Zira and Kuldeep Singh Vaid and Special Secretary (planning) D.S. Mangat.