Assam, Meghalaya CMs meet to discuss border row, panels to submit reports soon
CMs Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma held a joint press conference after the talks wherein the latter said it has been decided regional committees will be formed to look into the issues.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma held a meeting in Guwahati on Friday to discuss issues regarding the inter-state border. The duo held a joint press conference after the talks wherein Sangma said it has been decided regional committees, headed by cabinet ministers, will be formed to resolve inter-state boundary disputes in phased manner.
The committees will focus on points like historical facts, ethnicity, administrative convenience and submit their reports in 30 days.
“Today in the meeting, we had a detailed presentation given by the Assam government on six out of the 12 areas of dispute. We have three regions where these six areas of differences fall. Three committees from Meghalaya and as many from Assam will focus on historical facts, ethnicity, administrative convenience, willingness, and contiguity and submit their reports within 30 days,” Sangma was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The six disputed sites taken up in the first phase are Tarabari, Gijang, Phalia, Baklapara, Pilingkata and Khanapara. These areas fall in Cachar, Kamrup Metro and Kamrup Rural districts in Assam and West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya.
Sarma said through this, the governments are not trying to redraw the boundary but change the perception about those areas or villages. “If redrawing of boundaries is necessary, we will recommend that to Parliament,” he further said.
The new panels will have five members each, including a cabinet minister of each state, besides bureaucrats, Sarma said, adding that local representatives may be part of a committee. Members of both the panels will visit the sites, interact with civil society members and complete discussions within 30 days.
Earlier, in a tweet, Sarma said the meeting is the biggest deliberation in this direction in recent times and he hoped it will come out with a common agenda of strengthening the long standing friendship between Assam and Meghalaya.
On Thursday, Assam reached an agreement with Mizoram to withdraw forces from all disputed border areas and work towards lasting peace in the first meeting between the two states since an unprecedented gunbattle last week killed six policemen and injured 41 others.
(With agency inputs)