Meghalaya (māˌgəlāˈyə) [key], state (2001 provisional pop. 2,306,069), c.8,700 sq mi (22,530 sq km), NE India, bordered on the south by Bangladesh. The capital is Shillong. Meghalaya is in the Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia hills, at an elevation of 4,000–6,000 ft (1,220–1,830 m). The inhabitants are Khasi, Synteng, and Pner tribespeople, who speak a Mon-Khmer language. Christian missionaries have had considerable influence among Meghalaya's inhabitants; c.70% are Christian. Meghalaya was formerly part of Assam state; it became a separate state in 1972. It is governed by a chief minister and cabinet responsible to an elected unicameral legislature and by a governor appointed by the president of India. Meghalaya has suffered from sporadic violence among indigenous hill peoples and between the hill peoples and illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
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