To settle an old disagreement, Meghalaya has permanently given Manipur a magnificent royal estate known as Manipur Rajbari (residence of the Manipur royal dynasty).
The news comes at a time when regional border disputes have resulted in deaths and tensions, with no immediate settlement in sight.
The heritage property will be converted into Manipur State Bhawan
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said on Twitter that the heritage property, which is currently occupied by descendants and agents of the erstwhile Manipur Maharaj (king), will be turned into Manipur State Bhawan.
“The historic Manipur Rajbari at Shillong belonged to the Maharaja of Manipur & it was here that Maharaja Bodhachandra stayed during the signing (of) the Manipur Merger Agreement to Dominion of India in Sept 1949. Sadly, the plot no longer belonged to the Royal family of Manipur,” Singh’s post referring to the signing of the agreement to merge Manipur with the Union of India with effect from October 15, 1949 said.
He noted that the 1.93-acre property at Redlands in Shillong’s prime and cosmopolitan Laitumkhrah district was handed over after multiple rounds of talks between successive governments of the two states over a lengthy period of time.
Transfer of the royal property
According to The Hindustan Times, on August 12, 2021, the under secretary of the revenue and disaster management department signed a legal paperwork certifying the transfer of royal property to the East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner.
No explanation on the increase of 2,182.8 sq. ft. of the land
No one from the Meghalaya government would comment on the property’s ostensibly modest price and land revenue, which is thought to be several times higher than market rates.
There was also no explanation for how the estate’s size increased from 1.88 acres to 1.93 acres in the ceremonial handover, an increase of 2,182.8 square feet (according to a survey supposedly completed by Nanigopal Das, surveyor of the directorate of survey, Assam)
The heritage property is set to be restored to its former glory in Manipur.