‘Meghalaya ‘unhappy’ with Punjab forsanctioning compensation for Sikhs residing in Shillong’

Shillong, December 16 (PTI): Meghalayagovernment was “unhappy” with the decision of the Punjab cabinetapproving Rs 60 lakh compensation to the Sikh community residing here who wereaffected during the June riots, a state minister said on December 16.

MeghalayaUrban Affairs Minister Hamletson Dohling urged the Punjab government toreconsider the cabinet decision to grant the relief to the affected Sikhcommunity in Shillong and said it would “add more fuel to the fire”as the state government is trying to solve the issues amicably.

“We areunhappy with the decision and we request them (Punjab government) not to addfuel to the fire,” Dohling told PTI.

The PubjabCabinet had earlier this week approved the proposal for providing Rs 60 lakh ascompensation to the Sikh community against damage caused to their propertiesduring violence in Shillong in June earlier this year.

Of the Rs 60lakh sanctioned by the Punjab cabinet, Rs 50 lakh is earmarked forreconstruction of Khalsa Middle School as the building was declared unsafe. Therest of the amount would be given to Sikhs whose shops and truck were damagedin the riots.

Dohling saidthe high level committee appointed by Meghalaya government headed by deputychief minister Prestone Tyngsong is taking into consideration all aspects ofthe case and is trying its best to solve the issues amicably.

TheMeghalaya Urban Affairs Minister said, “The decision is nothing but tomislead the people of the nation because not a single stone was thrown at theschool or the gurudwara during the protest in June.”

He claimedthat the Meghalaya police had handled the situation and all efforts are on to endthe problems there (Punjabi lane) once and for all.

MeghalayaChief Minister Conrad Sangma will soon speak to his Punjab counterpart in thisregard, he said.

Clashes erupted when a bus driver and his friend were attacked at the Punjabi Lane area and they received injuries. As rumours of the assaulted victims dying in hospital spread on social media, local people grouped together and went to attack the residents following which the entire area was put under curfew for over a month.