border talks

Shillong, March 23: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that the second round of talks with Assam to resolve the border dispute between the states in the remaining six territories would begin in April or May.

Informed the State Assembly that regional committees composed of ministers and deputies for six regions of Ri-Bhoi, West Khasi Hills, and Jaintia Hills districts were also set up to hold talks. The six disputed areas lie within these three districts.

“After the meeting, talks will resume in April or May. Detailed consultations should take place at zero point to try to understand everyone’s problems,” the chief minister said in his reply to the Governor’s address.

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He said that consultations would take place with all stakeholders, such as the autonomous district councils and traditional rulers.

Assam and Meghalaya have identified 12 disputed areas along the 884.9 km interstate border.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma rejected the request of his Assam counterpart and said at a meeting on March 21 that the village of Mukroh on the disputed interstate border is part of the mountainous state.

He said that the people of Mukroh are beneficiaries of various programs of his government. Sangma’s statement comes weeks after Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma told the congregation that Mukroh was part of his state.

“I have clearly stated that Mukroh is very much a part of Meghalaya. Facts and figures indicate that. Other statements may have been made but our stand is clear,” Sangma told the assembly.

“Census code states that Mukroh is under the West Jaintia Hills district. Elections were conducted and voting during the recent Meghalaya assembly polls took place in Mukroh as well. The village has two polling stations and is a part of Mokaiaw constituency,” he said while replying to a supplementary question raised by Voice of the People’s Party MLA Adelbert Nongrum.