The Meghalaya government told a Punjab government delegation on Thursday that it is “duty-bound” to protect all communities living in the state. Punjab MP Jasbir Singh Gill, who is in Shillong, said Meghalaya Home Minister James PK Sangma gave this assurance to a four-member delegation from the Congress-ruled state, PTI reported.
Some local media networks in Meghalaya had reported last week that Punjabis settled in the hill state have received threats from a militant organisation, warning of dire consequences if they do not acquiesce to the government’s efforts to relocate them.
“These reports have naturally caused great concern back in Punjab as these families have been settled in Shillong long before the country’s independence,” Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wrote in a letter to his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma last week. He asked Sangma to take measures to instill a sense of security among the Punjabis.
Last week, Meghalaya Chief Secretary PS Thangkhiew had told the Ministry of Home Affairs that the state had assured Punjabi residents of safety.
“There was some kind of a threat,” Gill told reporters on Thursday. “The settlers told us about their fear. They have received some threats from an outlawed organisation and we tried to instill confidence in them. They have full confidence in the Meghalaya government and the process it has undertaken.” He said the Meghalaya government is “sincere and wants to restore normalcy”.
Later, PK Sangma told reporters that he has informed the Punjab delegation that the government is taking all possible measure to ensure the safety of Punjabis living in Meghalaya. He added that some misinformation was being spread and the state will take action against those spreading the rumours.
The Punjab delegation also submitted a letter from the chief minister addressed to Conrad Sangma.