As a follow-up to the “Namsai Declaration” that aims to amicably resolve the long-standing border issue between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Assam border protection & development minister Atul Bora and Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein on Thursday attended a meeting of regional committees of the two states concerning Tinsukia, Namsai, Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit districts at the Arunachal Bhawan located at Mohanbari in Dibrugarh. During the meeting both the ministers discussed the final report of the regional committees that will be submitted to the chief ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh before October 15.
“I’m glad to share that majority of the border issues concerning these districts have been sorted out. We will submit the joint report to the chief ministers within October 15. Due to strong political will and initiative of chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and keenness of Arunachal chief minister Pema Khandu, Assam and Arunachal are inching towards amicably resolving the decades old border issues,” Atul Bora said.
Arunachal Pradesh minister of health and family welfare Alo Libang, Arunachal Pradesh MLAs Gum Tayeng (Dambuk), Karikho Kri (Tezu), Zingnu Namchoom (Namsai), Jummum Ete Deori (Lekang), Mutchu Mithi (Roing) and Assam MLA Bolin Chetia (Sadiya), DCs and SPs of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Namsai, Lohit, and Roing were also present in the meeting.
On July 15, chief ministers of the two north eastern states had met at Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh and signed an agreement known as the “Namsai Declaration” to end border issues between the two states. During the meeting, it was decided to “restrict” the number of disputed villages to 86 instead of 123. Out of the 37 villages where there is no dispute 34 villages fell within the border of Arunachal Pradesh, the rest three lay in Assam.
Assam shares an 804-km inter-state border with Arunachal Pradesh and as many as eight districts in the frontier state and 12 districts in Assam are affected by the border row since Arunachal Pradesh became a Union Territory in 1972. Arunachal Pradesh earlier known as NEFA (North East Frontier Agency) attained statehood in 1987.
As per the Namsai declaration, both the states constituted 12 regional committees, each for the 12 districts where there is a dispute. These committees will jointly verify the concerned villages and thereafter make recommendations to the respective state governments “keeping in view the historical perspective, administrative convenience, contiguity and people’s will”.