Harassment of Barak Valley residents in Ratacherra; Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha writes to CM
North Karimganj MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha has written to CM Sarbananda Sonowal requesting him to intervene in the matters related to travel for Barak Valley residents via Meghalaya. He said, the residents are being harassed at Ratachara (Assam Meghalaya borders). Giving reference of Unlock 4.0 guidelines, he mentioned that the government of India has announced that no state can restrict the interstate movement of passengers. However, the residents are being harassed at Meghalaya border, where the Meghalaya administration are unnecessarily demanding travel passes.
The letter read, “The unlock 4.0 guidelines clearly mentions that no state can restrict the interstate movement of passengers. Accordingly the district administrations who earlier used to issue the past for travelling have ceased the issuing of the same. But, the residents of Barak Valley in the course of their movement to Guwahati are stopped and harrassed for several hours at the Ratacherra border of Meghalaya. They are asked to show travel passes and other supporting documents for their journey. A large number of patients from the three districts of Barak Valley duly commute to Shillong and Guwahati for treatment purpose. They are facing a necessary trouble during the journey. A long que is formed everyday and people are stuck for several hours at Rathachara. I request you to a urgently look into the matter and take essential action to remove this stumbling block.
Earlier speaking to Barak Bulletin, the Chief Secretary of Assam, Kumar Sanjay Krishna had also discussed the matter. He shared, “This matter has also been brought to our notice and we have taken it up at the highest administrative level. We are also aware that some underlying fear triggered by a sense of danger might have caused such incidence. I am sure our neighbours in other states would be amenable to reason once we are able to allay their fears. After all, we are friends and neighbours and maintaining the most cordial reaction between us is of paramount importance.
This is not a new issue. During the lockdown, CM Sarbananda Sonowal called his counterpart in Meghalaya Conrad Sangma on July 9. A statement issued by the CM’s PRO stated, “The Chief Minister requested Sangma to ensure hassle-free transportation of the vehicles carrying essential commodities from Guwahati to Barak Valley. Sonowal said that since vehicles carrying essential commodities for Barak Valley pass through the territory of Meghalaya, cooperation from the authorities of Meghalaya enables the State Government to reach out to the people of Barak Valley faster and more efficiently.”
The statement added, “The Meghalaya Chief Minister assured of taking adequate steps for ensuring smooth movement of essential goods and medicinal items from Guwahati to Barak Valley and other North-eastern states via Meghalaya.”
Will the CM or the chief secretary pick up the phone again? It remains to be seen…