* New dimension to Assam-galand border dispute
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 2: Top galand police and government officials are allegedly occupying land along the disputed stretches of Assam-galand border, giving a new dimension to the vexed border dispute between the two neighbouring States.
Officials from the level of sub-divisiol officers to superintendents of police are “owners” of plots in the B Sector of the inter-State border in Golaghat district, according to information with Assam Police.
“galand has a traditiol land holding system where the laws are customary. These plots have been issued in the me of these officials by the respective village headmen. The officials have in turn settled people, mostly Adivasis, who cultivate the land and pay a lease in the form of paddy to the owners,” said an Assam Police official.
The collection of the lease is done by “overground” cadres, the sources said.
Citing instances, he said a plot near Rengmapani is owned by an official who holds the post of Superintendent of Police (Jail) in galand.
The recent incident in which ga miscreants constructed four huts near Rajapukhuri village under Uriamghat police station, took place in a plot of land which is “owned” by a sub divisiol officer (electrical) of galand. An officer working in the Assam Regiment also has a plot on the disputed border in the sector. In fact, an SP level officer has also set up a farm house near Rengmapani police outpost in B Sector.
According to police sources, at least ten galand officers “own” plots in the B Sector.
The rubber plantations at the disputed areas near Merapani in Golaghat district are also owned by galand government officials.
Assam and galand share a 434 km border. The interstate border area has been divided, for administrative convenience, into six sectors – A, B, C, D, E and F – spread over Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat and Karbi Anglong districts.
According to Assam government, galand has encroached around 59,159.77 hectares of land along these six sectors.
In August last, armed ga miscreants killed at least nine villagers in the B Sector. The attacks, in which several houses were torched, had displaced over 10,000 villagers.
On last Saturday night, a Class X student was shot dead by ga miscreants in the disputed area under Uriamghat police station.
Several rounds of talks between the two state governments have failed to yield any tangible solution to the border dispute that has been lingering ever since galand was carved out in 1963.