What Is Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute And Why Today’s Agreement Is ‘Historic’ | Explained
To recall, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier hinted that the decades-old border dispute between the two states could be resolved using a formula of "give and take" between the two north-eastern states.
New Delhi: In a massive breakthrough, Assam and Meghalaya governments on March 29, Tuesday, signed an agreement to resolve the 50-year-old pending border issue. The two states signed an agreement in the national capital in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Chief Ministers of both states, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma, along with their chief secretaries and other officials were present during this historical moment.
To recall, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier hinted that the decades-old border dispute between the two states could be resolved using a formula of “give and take”.
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Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had also informed the Parliament that discussions have been going on at various levels between Assam and Meghalaya to arrive at an amicable solution with the Central government maintaining its role as a facilitator in inter-state boundary disputes.
Historic day for the North-East. The signing of the interstate boundary settlement between the states of Assam and Meghalaya. Watch live! https://t.co/hvHL4lipun
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 29, 2022
What Is Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute?
The dispute between the two states dates back to 1972 when Meghalaya was carved out of Assam under the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971. The border issues came about as a result of different readings of the demarcation of boundaries in the initial agreement for the new state’s (Meghalaya’s) creation.
The Assam-Meghalaya border dispute includes the areas of Upper Tarabari, Gazang reserve forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah, Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah Block I and Block II, Khanduli and Retacherra.
How The Issue Was Resolved:
The two states had formed three committees each in August last year to address the controversial boundary issue. The constitution of the panels had followed two rounds of talks between Sarma and Sangma where the neighbouring states resolved to settle the dispute in a phased manner.
According to the joint final set of recommendations made by the committees, out of the 36.79 sq km disputed area taken up for settlement in the first phase, Assam will get full control of 18.51 sq km and Meghalaya 18.28 sq km. Out of the 12 points of dispute between Assam and Meghalaya, the six areas with relatively less critical differences were taken up in the first phase.
Assam And Its Border Disputes With Neighbouring States:
Assam shares a 2743 km boundary with Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and West Bengal. It is locked in border disputes with Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. In July 2021, Assam’s Cachar district had witnessed a fierce armed clash between the police personnel of Assam and Mizoram. Six Assam Police personnel were killed in an armed confrontation with their Mizoram counterparts, forcing the Centre to intervene.
The Tuesday’s pact between Assam and Meghalaya is aimed at eliminating the possibility of any such violence in the border areas of the two states. There are 36 villages in six places, covering an area of 36.79 sq km, with regard to which the agreement has been reached.
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