Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute: Chief Ministers to Hold Talks Today
Chief Ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma will meet to address remaining border disputes and discuss a recent clash along the Assam-Meghalaya border.
GUWAHATI: In a significant development, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Meghalaya counterpart, Conrad Sangma, are scheduled to convene a meeting on Saturday evening to deliberate on the resolution of ongoing border disputes between the two states. The discussions will encompass six remaining areas where disputes persist, as confirmed by an official.
The upcoming meeting is expected to address a range of issues, including the clash that transpired on September 26 between residents of two adjacent villages located in Karbi Anglong and West Jaintia districts along the Assam-Meghalaya border.
Efforts to resolve the outstanding disputes have been ongoing at the official level, with both states engaging in periodic talks. Notably, Chief Ministers Sarma and Sangma last convened on May 24, during which they mutually agreed to continue their dialogues aimed at finding a resolution to the complex border issues.
During their previous meeting, the two chief ministers also consented to visit the disputed areas situated along the border of Karbi Anglong and West Jaintia Hills districts in both states.
The territorial disputes have persisted since Meghalaya's establishment as a separate state in 1972, and they stem from challenges to the Assam Reorganisation Act of 1971. These disputes have affected 12 areas spanning the 884.9 km-long border shared by the two states.
Upon assuming office in May 2021, Chief Minister Sarma prioritized the resolution of long-standing boundary disputes with Assam's neighboring states. As a result, three regional committees were formed in August 2021 to address these issues in a phased manner.
The committees subsequently presented their recommendations, which were handed over to Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi by the two chief ministers. This led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding on March 29, 2022, aimed at resolving disputes in six of the total 12 areas.
Under the terms of this agreement, a disputed area measuring 36.79 sq km was addressed in the initial phase, with Assam gaining full control over 18.51 sq km and Meghalaya exercising authority over 18.28 sq km.