New Delhi: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Kongkal Sangma to resolve the border dispute between the two states, on Tuesday at 3:30 pm.
The chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya signed the agreement at the office of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi to resolve the 50-year-old pending boundary dispute between their states,The chief ministers signed the agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the chief secretaries of Assam and Meghalaya, and the officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.“Today, a 50-year-old pending boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya has been resolved. Six out of 12 points of the dispute have been resolved, which comprise nearly 70 per cent of the boundary. The remaining six points will be resolved at the earliest, ANI quoted Union Home Minister Amit Shah as saying. “Since 2014, Modi Ji has made numerous efforts for the development of the northeast region,” the Home Minister added. He congratulated the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya and their teams on the signing of the agreement to resolve their boundary dispute.
“It is a historic day for us. After this MoU, in the next six to seven months, we aim to resolve the issue of the remaining disputed sites. We will work towards making the Northeast region a growth engine in the country,” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
“The Union Home Minister also requested to resolve the border disputes between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.” Sarma added. He said that he had a meeting with the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh where they formed a road map to settle 122 disputed points, adding that initial discussions have started with the chief ministers of Mizoram and Nagaland.
The chief minister of Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma, said: “Firstly I want to thank Home Minister Amit Shah for giving us the direction to resolve the border disputes in the North-Eastern states. Today the first phase of the resolution has been done. It could only be possible because of Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma.”
He added: I also want to thank all members of the committee and the officers from both states. We will try to resolve further differences between our states at the earliest.”
On January 31, the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya had submitted a draft resolution to Amit Shah for examination and consideration by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The governments of the two states had come up with a draft resolution to resolve their border disputes in six of the 12 “areas of difference” along the 884-kilometre boundary.
In August 2021, Assam and Meghalaya had formed three committees each to go into the vexed boundary question, following two rounds of talks between Sarma and Sangma during which the states resolved to settle the border dispute in a phased manner.
In the six places, there are 36 villages, which cover an area of 36.79 square kilometres. Assam will keep 18.51 square kilometres of land, and will give Meghalaya 18.28 square kilometres of land, according to the proposed recommendations for the 36.79 square kilometres of land.
Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972, which is when the dispute arose. As a result of different readings of the demarcation of boundaries in the initial agreement for Meghalaya’s creation, border issues were created. Meghalaya had challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, leading to dispute in 12 locations in the border areas.