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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Border row: Home Minister Amit Shah to meet chief ministers of Assam, Meghalaya tomorrow

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said the two states can agree on the villages and they have been able to look at natural boundaries like rivers and forest covers to demarcate the boundaries.

SHILLONG:

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will be meeting the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on January 20 to submit their respective recommendations for an amicable solution to end the boundary dispute in six areas of difference between the two states.

This was informed by Sangma after chairing a cabinet meeting, which approved the recommendations of the three regional committees on the inter-state boundary dispute.

He told the press that the recommendations of the regional committees from Meghalaya and Assam government will be forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs for further actions.

“The Assam chief minister and I will submit the reports to the Union Home Minister in Delhi tomorrow evening (post 6 pm). We will be submitting more or less a common report and then I think the government of India has to move according to the laws and the bill to be put up,” Sangma said.

He said that after the discussion, the MHA will have to come to a final conclusion, but more or less the structure has been reached after a long-drawn exercise between the two states.

The chief minister said that the actual demarcation of the boundary will be done by the Union parliament.

“…therefore, those aspects will be done at the powers of the parliament. The Survey of India will have to come in and joint inspections may have to be done and the bill has to be there,” he added.

Sangma, however, said the two states can agree on villages and they have been able to look at natural boundaries like rivers and forest covers to kind of demarcate the boundaries.

There are 36 villages in the six areas of difference, which are about 36.79 sq km.

Refusing to share details of the report, the chief minister said, “The important aspect is that we as a state government have felt very strongly that apart from historical facts that are there, it is very important to keep the people’s sentiments in mind and therefore the willingness of the people in specific areas has been one of the driving forces or the principles on the basis of which we have reached to most of the conclusion in most of the areas.”

He added, “We have also seen ethnicity as something very important. Both the state governments have felt strongly that any state government may try to claim some areas but if the people living in those areas don’t wish to be in that particular state, one cannot force people to come into a particular state.”

Terming it as a historic moment, Sangma said it is important to note that the issue has been there for the last 50 years and it was very difficult to move forward, but today due to efforts made by the different committees and the two-state governments, a solution has been arrived at.

“We consulted multiple stakeholders, we have had multiple meetings and multiple visits and as I said this is truly a very important and historic moment where we are able to move forward and resolve some of the areas of difference that are there,” he said.

Whether Meghalaya will be gaining more land, the chief minister however said, “I would refrain from saying who got more and who got less. As I said, the interest of the state and stakeholders have been kept in mind and the best possible solution has arrived at after multiple meetings.”

If a joint declaration would be made by the two states before January 21, he said, “Once we come to a common agreement in the presence of the Union Home Minister, we’ll declare and share the details. What is important to note is that before January 21, we actually are able to come to some kind of agreement for the six locations of difference.”

On the demand for an all-party meeting, Sangma said that the different regional committees will be having meetings to share this report.

“We have taken inputs from all political parties into this aspect. We are happy to share this information with them, but we will do that at the right time. The regional committees have got representation from almost all political parties, including CEMs and stakeholders,” he said.

ALSO READ: https://themeghalayan.com/assam-meghalaya-border-row-assam-to-hand-over-18-28-sq-km-area-to-meghalaya/

 

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