border dispute

Guwahati, October 09: Officials from Assam and Meghalaya will on Saturday hold a key meeting over the border dispute between the two northeastern neighbours. The meeting will take place at Silchar in Assam.

Days before Saturday’s meeting, the two states, on October 5, conducted their maiden joint inspection of the interstate border areas to resolve the long-pending boundary dispute. Assam minister Atul Bora and Meghalaya minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar led the cabinet-level committees of their respective states.

“The motive of the visit was to see the ground reality. While no decision will be taken on the basis of this visit, the committees will submit their feedback to the respective chief ministers,” Tongkhar said.

The two chief ministers, Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma, and his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma met on July 23 and August 6 to discuss border issues.

Three days after that first meeting, an unprecedented gunfight broke out between the Assam Police and their counterparts from Mizoram, resulting in casualties.

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Overall, Assam and Meghalaya have border disputes over 12 areas. Of these, “minor” differences exist over six areas, and the two governments have decided to focus on these half a dozen regions in the first phase of discussions. The six areas are Tarabari, Gijang, Phalia, Baklapara, Pilingkata and Khanapara.

These, according to Assam, fall within its territory at Kachar, Kamprup Metro, and Kamrup Rural. However, Meghalaya’s counterclaim is that the areas are within its territory at West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, and East Jaintia Hills.