Meghalaya parties urge Centre to resolve border disputes with Assam

After inter-state border disputes between Assam, Mizoram and Tripura, various political parties including the BJP in Meghalaya have urged the Centre to resolve its border issues with Assam, party sources said on October 24.

Assam and Meghalaya shares 885 km inter-state border. With two legislators, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), an ally of the Meghalaya’s National People’s Party (NPP)-led coalition government, has urged the central government to resolve the long pending inter-state border disputes with Assam.

BJP MLA Sanbor Shullai in a letter to Union home minister Amit Shah demanded central government’s intervention in resolving the long pending border disputes with Assam.

Shullai in his letter said that the Centre’s earlier decision to resolve border disputes among the Northeast states by 2021 is a perfect step but Assam-Meghalaya border disputes must be solved at the earliest.

“There are many patches between Assam and Meghalaya where border disputes are very often causing clashes, tension and hostility among the people living in both sides of the border,” the BJP MLA said adding that people in the “disputed areas” are facing hardships.

“In some occasions the Assam-Meghalaya border disputes spills over into the other parts of the state affecting lives of other people and disrupt the ethnic harmony,” the BJP lawmaker said.

There are at least 12 disputed patches along the Assam and Meghalaya borders and both states had earlier informally decided that one state cannot carry out developmental activities in these areas without informing the other.

Chief ministers and chief secretaries of Assam and Meghalaya have held a series of meetings but the issues remained unresolved.

Besides Shullai, other BJP MLA is Alexander Laloo Hek, who is health minister of Meghalaya, where the saffron party is supporting the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government led by chief minister Conrad Sangma, who is also the president of NPP.

The Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) and Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) have recently meet Sangma and suggested the urgent need for Meghalaya and Assam to resolve the border issues between the two states, which has been a major bone of contention among the Northeast states.

The RDA and HSPDP leaders told the media in Shillong separately that the Centre should not remain silent on the vital issue.

Assam shares 2,616 km inter-state borders with six Northeast states, excluding Sikkim, and with every state there are border disputes.

Assam-Mizoram border situation under control

Meanwhile, after a series of meetings and following the interventions of the Centre, the fortnight long Assam-Mizoram border troubles earlier this week have been tamed as the border hitch took an ugly turn with around 20 shops and houses being burnt and over 50 people injured in the attacks and counter attacks by the people living along the border on October 17.

Union home minister Amit Shah also spoke to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga several times to defuse the crisis while Union home ministry’s joint secretary (Northeast), Satyendra Kumar Garg took part in the meetings held in Assam and Mizoram.

Border tussle between Mizoram and Tripura

Border tussle between Mizoram and Tripura also erupted during the past two weeks forcing the two states to deploy additional forces along the borders and promulgated prohibitory orders.

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