‘Assam, Meghalaya reach understanding on 6 disputed areas’:Himanta Biswa Sarma
GUWAHATI: Assam has reached an understanding with Meghalaya on resolving six of the 12 areas of dispute along the border between the states and will sign a memorandum of understanding later this month, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in Guwahati on Wednesday after a meeting with his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma.
“Following today’s discussion, we have reached mutual understanding on the government level on resolving the disputes. In principle, both states have agreed to consult opposition parties, student unions and other stakeholders on this issue on January 18,” Sarma said.
Last year, the two chief ministers agreed to sort out the differences in a phased manner and decided to first focus on six of the 12 disputed areas along the inter-state border.
The six areas that were taken up first for resolution are Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pilangkata and Ratacherra. The areas fall in Kamrup, Kamrup (Metropolitan) and Cachar districts of Assam and West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills districts of Meghalaya.
Both states set up regional committees comprising senior ministers after this broad agreement to visit the disputed areas and speak to local residents and other stakeholders. Earlier this month, the two state governments exchanged reports of their respective committees at a meeting in Shillong.
“Mutual understanding between two governments on the border issue has to be ratified by other stakeholders. The government can’t take a decision on it on its own. We hope to sign a memorandum of understanding with Meghalaya within this month,” said Sarma.
Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong who was present at Wednesday’s meeting told reporters that the two chief ministers will meet again in the next 3-4 days, which will be followed by a meeting with union home minister Amit Shah.
“Hopefully we would have a final agreement before January 21 (the 50th statehood day of Meghalaya) which will be made public,” he said.