Assam Arunachal

Itanagar, Oct 31: The boundary dispute between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh could be resolved “once and for all” by the end of November, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu said on Monday following a meeting in Itanagar.

The meeting between both the states which was attended by Khandu and several senior ministers from Assam including border protection and development minister Atul Bora is being described as the penultimate interaction between both states before a final resolution.

“One more meeting is to be held between me and my Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma for a final agreement and permanent solution. Both of us are determined to resolve all our differences by end of November,” Khandu told reporters.

In July 2022, both states signed the Namsai Declaration where it was agreed to bring down the number of disputed villages from 123 to 86 and resolve the boundary row by forming 12 committees, each headed by a cabinet minister that visited disputed areas, took feedback from residents and submitted reports to their respective governments.

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“Today we discussed these reports district-wise in-depth. I am happy that all reports are positive in effect and the committees of both states have sincerely and jointly worked to find a permanent solution to this boundary issue,” Khandu said.

Assam border development minister Atul Bora agreed, saying the resolution will be similar to the one the state has with Meghalaya and sought cooperation from residents of border areas in both states.

“Today’s meeting was to discuss reports of the committees threadbare to arrive at an early solution. There is no consensus yet on one area of dispute, but we hope it will happen soon. The next meeting will be held at the level of chief ministers of both states soon,” he said.

Assam and Arunachal Pradesh share an 804 km long boundary. Though there was no dispute initially, over the years allegations of residents of one state encroaching land on the other have led to disputes and violence. A suit has been pending in Supreme Court since 1989 on the issue.

Last year, following the insistence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, both states resolved to settle their border dispute through talks.