Meghalaya MLA Charles Marngar on March 23 alleged that agents of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council in Assam's West Karbi Anglong district have allegedly set up gates to collect illegal tax from broom grass farmers in Block II of Ri-Bhoi district.
In a letter to Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council chief executive member Titos Chyne, Marngar alleged that agents of the KAADC are collecting an illegal tax of up to Rs 15,000 per pickup truck from the farmers in gates they have set up in 5 villages.
"The agents of the KAADC have set up 5 gates in the disputed Block II area in Jatalong, Madan Umwang, Sabuda, Umlaper and Mawsyrdiang villages with the sole intention of collecting illegal tax from broom grass farmers," Marngar said.
According to Marngar, the local MLA from Mawhati constituency in which the disputed villages fall, broom grass is not forest produce according to a notification of the Meghalaya government.
"It is highly illegal on their part to collect tax from farmers. I have taken up with the CEM seeking his intervention in the matter," Marngar said.
On being asked, Chyne said he will take the matter up with the KAADC CEM.
It is to be mentioned here that in the 1950s, villages under Block II in Ri-Bhoi district were transferred to Karbi Anglong district from the United Khasi Jaintia Hills district of Assam for administrative convenience.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on March 22 said that the second round of talks with Assam to resolve the inter-state boundary dispute in the six remaining areas will begin in April or May.
He informed the state assembly that regional committees comprising ministers and MLAs for six areas in Ri-Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills districts have also been appointed to take the talks forward. The six disputed areas are in these three districts.
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