GUWAHATI: A section of people from Meghalaya is 'browbeating' the fringe dwellers of Assam and asking them to side with the neighbouring state. This came up for discussion in the Assam Assembly today.
Raising the issue in the House, Boko MLA Nandita Das said, "People from Meghalaya are browbeating a section of fringe dwellers who want to stay in Assam."
Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora admitted that the regional committees witnessed some unexpected incidents while vising the disputed areas. "That's unfortunate," he said.
During the Zero Hour, MLA Das said, "Ever since the joint visit of the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border areas started, such incidents of browbeating are going on. Even some fringe-dwellers who want to side with Assam face obstructions from attending the joint hearings of opinion. The fringe dwellers' opinion on which side they want to stay will help in taking the decision. However, some people from Meghalaya are preventing the villagers who want to stay with Assam from attending the meetings. The Assam government needs to provide them security. The government should also develop the border areas of the state."
In his reply, Minister Atul Bora said, "Chief ministers of both the state have been trying to solve the long-standing boundary disputes. Regional committees of both states keep visiting the disputed border areas for that purpose.
"A section of people is instigating the fringe dwelling Garos of Assam to take the side of Meghalaya. The fringe-dwelling Garos are casting votes in Assam. We have administered them the Covid-19 vaccines. We have deployed armed police personnel in the border villages. We have even kept a quick response team standby for instant action in the event of any untoward incidents."