The chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad K Sangma respectively, have announced their plans to visit the troubled areas in Karbi-Anglong in Assam and West Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya. The two chief ministers met in Guwahati to resume talks on resolving border disputes between the two states. In March of the previous year, Assam and Meghalaya signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in New Delhi, agreeing to resolve six out of twelve points of dispute along their border using a give-and-take formula.
The decision to visit the remaining areas of dispute comes after a violent incident in November the previous year, where Assam Forest personnel fired shots in Mukroh, a border village claimed by both states. The incident resulted in six deaths, including that of a forest guard, and two injuries.
Sarma and Sangma, speaking to journalists after their meeting, announced that they would employ a similar formula to the one used in resolving the initial six areas of dispute. They have formed three regional committees, each consisting of cabinet ministers from both states, to undertake groundwork in preparation for resolving the remaining areas. The regional committees will visit the disputed areas, engage with residents and stakeholders, and examine all relevant aspects before submitting their reports to the respective state governments.
As a confidence-building measure, both chief ministers plan to visit the border areas of Karbi-Anglong in Assam and West Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya in June. They aim to assure people on both sides that the differences will be resolved, considering the long-standing friendship between the people of Assam and Meghalaya. Sarma expressed optimism that through discussions, mutual trust, and confidence, they would be able to resolve the remaining six areas of dispute sooner than expected.
Sangma mentioned that the meeting was attended by the chairmen of the different regional committees, who reviewed all the details regarding the disputes in the remaining six areas. While desiring an early solution, he emphasized the need to maintain peace during the ongoing process. The two chief ministers plan to meet again in July to review the progress made by the regional committees. They have also requested the Survey of India to continue their survey work in the first six areas of dispute that both states agreed to resolve—Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pilangkata, and Ratacherra.
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