Shillong,Aug. 21: The village dorbar of Madan Iing Syiem, Mylliem today said a land at Lai-Kyntoit Nongkhlaw was agreed for setting up of a cremation ground for the Seng Khasi Mylliem.
“We have identified this land, which is just 2 kilometers away from the village, for the purpose of setting up of the cremation ground for the Seng Khasi Mylliem,” village headman Hamphel Khyriem told reporters after a meeting with deputy commissioner PS Dkhar here.
He said that he had taken special interest on the matter in view that the Seng Khasi Mylliem though it was formed since 1999, doesn’t have a proper cremation ground for conducting ritual rites as per Khasi faith.
This came following the allegation made during the dorbar bah meeting of the Seng Khasi (central body) held yesterday to discuss on the recent protest against the cremation of its member, that there has been no agreement signed with the village dorbar on this regard.
The Seng Khasi had maintained that the agreement that the headman was referring to was the one signed between the village and the Nongkhlaw clan and not with the Seng Khasi Mylliem. The present cremation ground is located at Kper Phatok in the village.
Asked, Khyriem however said, “They (Seng Khasi) are misinterpreting the agreement. In fact this agreement was signed by the president and vice president of the Seng Khasi Mylliem.”
According to him, earlier in the village, there was no cremation ground until the time that the Seng Khasi Mylliem was formed in the year 1999.
“In view of this, we have made the special offer to the Seng Khasi Mylliem, which we have not done for others,” he said while pointing out that the Catholic Church in the area are having their cemetery ground, 4 km away from the village.
During the meeting, the delegation of the village dorbar has sought the intervention of the DC into the failure of the Seng Khasi to maintain status quo as decided in the August 18-meeting convened by the DC with both the parties.
The village headman alleged that despite agreement made in the said meeting, different statements have continued to come from the Seng Khasi to extend of claiming that the dorbar shnong had tendered apology to them.
“We have urged the DC to summon the secretary of the Seng Khasi Mylliem L Kurkalang, who in a statement on August 19, alleged that the dorbar shnong had apologized from them, when it was not at all true,” Khyriem said.
He said the dorbar shnong has demanded that the DC should seek clarification from Kurkalang as to why she had made the statement which is not inconsistent with the minutes of the meeting held on August 18.
“This is seen as an attempt to mislead the people because the meeting convened by the DC with both the parties was aimed at resolving the impasse over the recent incident,” he added.
The incident first took place on August 11, in Madan Iing Syiem under Mylliem Block, when the dorbar shnong and its residents allegedly tried to prevent the cremation of (Late) Kulam Nongrum (President Sengbah ki Nongshad Nongkheiń) in accordance with Niam Khasi faith.
It was only after the intervention of the district administration and an offer of space by Seng Khasi Hima Mylliem that Late Nongrum could be cremated.
The Seng Khasi during the dorbar bah yesterday had also demanded action against the people involved in instigating the crowd to protest on August 11.
Asked, the village headman however denied that the protest taken out by the residents had obstructed the cremation of Nongrum.
“The protest was not to obstruct the cremation day but it was to express resentment about the failure of the Seng Khasi to honour the agreement signed with the village,” he said while adding that the question of punishment in this regard does not arise at all.