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Minister against use of dual EPIC card in border areas

Shillong, Jan 15: Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla today warned against use of dual voting card by people of Meghalaya residing in the disputed border area with Assam.
“We can understand that the people are benefitting from having EPIC card from both the states but this is against the law and unacceptable,” Shylla said.
“If these people are using both the EPIC card of Assam and Meghalaya it means they don’t have their own identity and no one knows whether they belong to Assam or Meghalaya,” he added.
Urging people of Meghalaya living in the border to stop using EPIC card issued by Assam, Shylla said, “We want our people to be with Meghalaya despite the delay to resolve the boundary dispute.”
Stating that the government is trying its best to resolve the inter-state border dispute with Assam, he said people living in the border areas should work together with the Meghalaya government in defending the boundary of the State.
It may be noted that recently the headman and residents of Ummat village decided to discard their EPIC card issued by the Assam government.
The EPIC shows that Ummat falls under 20-Baithalangso Assembly Constituency of Assam whereas it falls under Mawhati Assembly Constituency of Meghalaya.
Headman of the area, Dim Mukhim, said that Ummat is a disputed area between Meghalaya and Assam.
He also informed that Assam government officials have been camping in the village for the past three-four days for Aadhaar enrollment.
Mukhim said that the residents possess EPIC cards of both the states and even showed these to reporters.
The residents of Ummat vote both in Assam and Meghalaya.
During a meeting, the residents rejected Aadhaar enrolment done by Assam.
They also informed that the Tiwas, who are settlers in Ummat and are demanding recognition as tribals from Meghalaya, have already enrolled for Aadhar offered by Assam government.
It may be noted that the Assam government has initiated a number of developmental works in villages falling under Block-I by constructing roads, mini stadium, schools and also providing electricity.