How Assam and Meghalaya reached a settlement over a 50-year-old border dispute


Guwahati: After a number of months, the governments of Assam and Meghalaya have come out with a draft proposal to resolve their border disputes in six of the 12 “zones of distinction” alongside the 884-km border.

As per the proposed suggestions for 36.79 sq km of land, Assam will give 18.51 sq km and the remaining 18.28 sq km to Meghalaya.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma met Union Residence Minister Amit Shah on Thursday night and introduced the proposed suggestions.

Meghalaya cupboard minister Renicton Lyngdoh Tongkhar informed ThePrint that “5 rules” had been thought-about, together with the needs of the folks dwelling within the disputed areas, which territory would fall through which state. “Contemplating them, we have now come to a conclusion,” mentioned Tongkhar, who can also be the chairman of the regional committee on the boundary problem for the West Khasi Hills.

The suggestions had been permitted by each the Assam and Meghalaya cupboards on Wednesday.

Leaders of a number of opposition events in Assam objected to the suggestions, expressing concern that their state was leaving out greater than Meghalaya and mentioned additional session and dialogue within the legislature was needed.

Not like in Assam, nonetheless, legislators from the principle opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Meghalaya weren’t consulted. TMC’s George Lyngdoh informed ThePrint that he was not conscious of the contents of the proposal. “We’re but to learn concerning the deliberations and the proposed settlement. We count on it (to take recommendation from the federal government), however that’s left to their discretion,” he mentioned.

ThePrint contacted Assam cupboard ministers Piyush Hazarika and regional committees head Atul Bora through name. Calls to Meghalaya CM Sangma additionally went unanswered. This report might be up to date with their feedback after they reply.


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how did the decision come about

The long-standing land dispute started in 1972 when Meghalaya was carved out of Assam. border points is coming Varied readings of the demarcation of boundaries resulted within the preliminary settlement for the creation of the brand new state.

A presentation ready by the Assam authorities for a gathering on Tuesday mentioned that “twelve areas of variations have developed over time since 1993”. At the very least 50 excessive stage conferences have taken place through the years to resolve these boundary points.

In a gathering on 23 July, the 2 state governments determined to work in the direction of decision of disputes in six areas: Hahim, Gizang, Tarabari, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pilingkata and Ratchera.

Subsequently, the Authorities of Assam and Meghalaya constituted regional committees headed by cupboard ministers of each the states to check these areas.

The committees adopted a “five-stage method”, which included “alternate of information”, “joint area visits”, detailed deliberations, negotiations after which the preparation of ultimate suggestions. In every area, the committees will take note of the composition of the native inhabitants.

The suggestions for every of the six areas are as follows:

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur |  impression
Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | impression

session, opposition to decision

Assam Chief Minister Sarma on Tuesday held a gathering on the draft settlement with representatives of Congress, Communist Celebration of India (Marxist), Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), All India United Democratic Entrance (AIUDF). ), Bodoland Individuals’s Entrance (BPF), and United Individuals’s Celebration Liberal (UPPL).

Through the assembly, opposition events in Assam raised considerations over the “take-and-take” coverage that has been really helpful.

Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia, Chief of the Opposition within the Assam Legislative Meeting, who was current on the assembly, was of the view that Assam had extra compromise than Meghalaya.

Chatting with ThePrint, he mentioned, “If we undertake this transactional coverage, different states (with which Assam has a land dispute) will begin demanding extra.”

Referring to the sooner committees and discussions on the difficulty, Saikia mentioned that he has seen heated exchanges between the 2 states.

“However such issues weren’t mirrored (within the decision). Then how can we are saying that the decision is truthful and it isn’t carried out beneath any strain? It can’t be carried out simply, that’s what I’ve mentioned,” he mentioned.

Aminul Islam of AIUDF, who attended the assembly, mentioned the matter ought to be mentioned within the Assam legislature. He welcomed the “means of settling the difficulty”, however expressed concern that the folks of Assam could also be evicted on account of the “take-and-lay” coverage.

“The federal government is so comfortable when different states occupy our land, I can’t perceive that,” he mentioned, including that the fundamental constitutional restrict ought to be closing for each state.

In the meantime, Raijar Dal president and Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, in a letter to the chief minister on Thursday, mentioned such proposals can’t come with out consulting the folks of the state.

“As per the media reviews, pressure was prevailing between Assam and Meghalaya throughout the current ministerial stage conferences. It has additionally been mentioned in media reviews that in some conferences the folks of Meghalaya forcibly stopped the folks of Assam from taking part in such gatherings. In such a scenario, any hasty resolution might be disastrous for the curiosity of Assam.

Sarma had additionally interacted with representatives of scholar organizations together with All Assam College students Union (AASU), All Bodo College students Union (ABSU), All Rabha College students Union, All Assam Gorkha College students Union and Garo College students Union.

ThePrint spoke to Samajjul Bhattacharya, chief advisor to AASU and advisor to the Northeast College students’ Group (NESO). He mentioned, “AASU and NESO need a everlasting resolution to the border problems with the seven states. We welcome the initiative taken by the Assam and Meghalaya governments and it ought to proceed.”

“With regard to the six zones, we wish to go to the locations, and all the coed our bodies will talk about with the folks after which give their opinion to the federal government,” he mentioned.

(Edited by Rohan Manoj)


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