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Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute: Second Phase of Talks for 6 Remaining Areas in June-July, Says CM Sarma

By: Purbasha Bhattacharjee

News18

Last Updated: April 06, 2022, 23:02 IST

Guwahati

When asked about revisiting the agreement that had been inked, he said the two states should not reopen the issue. (Image: Himanta Biswa Sarma/Facebook)

When asked about revisiting the agreement that had been inked, he said the two states should not reopen the issue. (Image: Himanta Biswa Sarma/Facebook)

The two northeastern states have recently inked a historic agreement to end their 50-year-old dispute and resolve differences in six of 12 areas

Days after signing a pact for resolving disputes in six out of 12 locations along the state’s border with Meghalaya, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday voiced hope that the second phase of border talks for the remaining six disputed areas will start in June-July. He, however, admitted that it will be “most complicated”.

The two northeastern states have recently inked a historic agreement to end their 50-year-old dispute and resolve differences in six of 12 areas. The agreement was signed by the Chief Ministers of both the states in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“We hope to start discussion for the other six (areas of difference) also sometime around June and July. The second phase is the most complicated as it has areas such as Langpih, Block I, and II,” he told reporters. With the signing of the MoU for the first phase of inter-state border talks, now the thrust is on to finalize the second phase.

On being asked about the agreement signed between the governments of Assam and Meghalaya for resolving the dispute in the first six points, Sarma said the Survey of India has already started working on the six areas which have been resolved between the two states. “According to our MoU, they (Survey of India) will put border pillar, and thereafter, the entire agreement will be formalized,” he explained.

When asked about revisiting the agreement that had been inked, he said the two states should not reopen the issue. “Now that agreement has been sealed and signed, there is a demand from Assam Opposition also to revisit but I have answered in the assembly that after all these are lands belonging to India and as a brother and a sister, we have signed an agreement and we have come to a closure so far as that six sites are concerned so we should not reopen the issue,” he maintained.

Asked that the border residents are “not happy” with the decision of the two states, Sarma said, “You cannot have happy out of every agreement. Only thing is that the country should be happy. Always there will be individuals who will be unhappy but the nation should be happy that should be our motto.”

As per the agreement signed in March, of the 36.79 sq km area taken up for resolution in the first phase, Assam will get 18.46 sq km and Meghalaya 18.33 sq km. The proposed demarcation has been made on the basis of recommendations of regional committees that were formed by the two-state governments following a chief ministerial-level meeting over the border issue on July 23, 2021.

Meghalaya, carved out of Assam as a separate state in 1972, had challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, leading to disputes in 12 areas along the 884.9-km-long interstate border.

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first published:April 06, 2022, 22:49 IST
last updated:April 06, 2022, 23:02 IST