Shillong, May 31: Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today laid the foundation stone of a Health Sub-Centre at Langpih, despite the Meghalaya government's request not to do so, claiming that the area belonged to Meghalaya.
Assam, the Meghalaya government maintained, had illegally occupied Langpih bordering Kamrup district.
Meanwhile, the Khasi people, under the banner of the Synjuk Ki Khlieh Nongsynshar (traditional institution heads) of Langpih area, had called a 36-hour bandh to prevent the Assam Minister from entering Langpih area.
However, Mr Sarma, accompanied by his Cabinet colleague Rockybul Hussain, successfully laid the foundation stone of a Health Sub-Centre, Inspection Bungalow and residential quarters for Forest Guards amidst tight security.
''They have laid the foundation stone with no report of any untoward incident so far from the area,'' West Khasi Hills District Superintendent of Police H Kharkrang told UNI here over phone from Nongstoin.
The Meghalaya Cabinet, which hurriedly met yesterday, had raised strong objections against the Assam government's decision to construct its establishments at Langpih.
''Today, they laid the foundation stone, but I will dismantle them very soon,'' Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Lyngdoh, who also holds the Home portfolio, asserted.
''Constitutionally and also by official documentation, the land belongs to Meghalaya,'' he said. Langpih has a total of 74 villages of Garo and Khasi people.
Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy dashed a letter to his Assamese counterpart and requested him to stop his two Cabinet Ministers from laying the foundation stone at Langpih.
Dr Roy also had a telephonic conversation with Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta over the Assam government's ''illegal encroachment''.