Border row: Assam, Meghalaya meet discusses 3 disputed sectors

Regional committees of Assam and Meghalaya met here on Saturday to discuss three disputed sectors along the inter-state boundary, ministers of the two states heading the panels said.

They will meet at the same venue next month and undertake joint field visit to one of the areas of conflict, the ministers added.

“We discussed three disputed sectors today. We heard what the Meghalaya government had to say. Ministers, MLAs and top officials from both sides were present,” Assam Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora said.
He said the officials, especially the district commissioners, have been asked to verify the ground reality and submit their updated reports at the next meeting, which has been fixed for August 25.

“On August 26, the committees will visit West Dimoria (in Assam’s Kamrup Metropolitan district) for joint inspection,” Bora added.
Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said after the joint inspection, more sectors will be taken up in a phased manner for resolution.

The two neighbouring states have been entangled in border disputes since Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as a separate state in 1972 and it challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, leading to disputes in 12 areas of the 884.9km-long border.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on assuming office in May 2021 had announced that his priority was to resolve long-standing boundary disputes with neighbouring states.

Subsequently, regional committees were set up to resolve the issues in a phased manner, with six areas of differences taken up initially. The regional committees submitted their recommendations, which were handed over to Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi, followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 29, 2022 to resolve disputes in six of the 12 areas.

According to the agreement, 36.79sqkm of the disputed area was taken up for settlement in the first phase, with Assam getting full control of 18.51sqkm and Meghalaya over 18.28sqkm.
The two states have now taken up discussion in the remaining six sectors, with Sarma holding a meeting in this regard with his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma on May 24 here.

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