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Explained: Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute

Explained: Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute :  you must not have forgotten the violence on the Assam and Mizoram border in the month of July last year, in which half a dozen policemen lost their lives. This time there has been fresh violence on the Assam-Meghalaya border in which 6 people have been killed. However, this incident should not be seen as border dispute. But it cannot be denied that after this violence, tension was erupted in the border areas of Assam and Meghalaya, while its heat reached Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya weher an SUV with Assam number plate was burnt. Although there was no loss of life in this incident.

On 22 November, Six people, including five from Meghalaya and one from Assam forest guard, were killed in violence that broke out after Assam forest officials stopped a truck allegedly carrying illegal timber along the Assam-Meghalaya border in West Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

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According to reports, some people were carrying timber illegally in a truck from the forest adjacent to the border, when the Assam Forest Department team stopped them near Mukroh, the mob came from Meghalaya and violence broke out. 6 people died in the incident.

The very next day after the incident, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma visited to the spot and took stock of the situation. On the other hand, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has also requested to CBI to investigate the incident.

However, this was an incident which should not be linked to the border dispute, the Central Government has also said the same in one of its statements.

This is not the first time that there has been violence on the Assam-Meghalaya border. The dispute regarding the border between the two states is very old and it has been going on for the last 50 years. There are frequent reports of violence on the Assam-Meghalaya border regarding this dispute. So let’s understand the Assam-Meghalaya border dispute.

This year, when Assam Chief Minister Himant Biswa Sarma and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma signed an agreement to resolve the inter-state border dispute in  presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, then it was believed that the 50-year-old dispute between Assam and Meghalaya has now been resolved.

Friends, let us tell you that before 1970, Meghalaya was a part of Assam. In 1970, it was separated from Assam and became an autonomous state and later on 21 January 1972, it was given full statehood.

Most of the Indian’s states that have been formed on the basis of language, but the states in the Northeastern part of the country were formed on the basis of the conditions of the hills.

When Meghalaya was separated from Assam, the dividing line passed through the Khasi and Garo population. As a result, many people of both the communities remained in the plains. After this, issues related to development of these people has been arises. Still there are many people who live in Assam, but their names are registered in the voter list of Meghalaya.

When the state of Meghalaya was formed in 1972, it challenged the Assam Reorganization Act, 1971, leading to a dispute over 12 areas in different parts of the 885-km long interstate border.

These 12 disputed areas are Tarabari, Langpih, Borduar, Gijang Reserve Forest, Bokalapara, Hahim, Nongwah, Matmoor, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemorah Block One, and Block 2, Retchera and Khanduli.

Because both the states keep making their own claims in these areas, this is the reason why there are frequent clashes in these areas and the police of both the states also come face to face.

However, several attempts have been made in the past to resolve the border dispute. In 1985, under the then Assam Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia and Meghalaya Chief Minister Captain W A Sangma, an official committee was formed under the leadership of former Chief Justice of India Y V Chandrachud. However, no solution was found.

From July 2021, the Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya held several rounds of talks to settle the border dispute once and for all and some positive results emerged.

But now after the latest incident, people have once again started wondering whether the border dispute between the two states will end or not.

Let us tell you that the governments of both the states are trying their best to find a solution to the border dispute that has been going on for five decades.

In the last few years, agreements are being made between the two states continuously. It is believed that the ongoing dispute over 70 percent of the areas has been settled. After Amit Shah became the Home Minister in the year 2019, several agreements have been made to resolve the border dispute between the states of the North Eastern region.

In the same year, an agreement was also reached between Assam and Meghalaya, after which it was said that the dispute of 6 out of 12 places has been resolved. The names of these 6 places are Tarabari, Gijang, Hahim, Baklapara, Khanapara-Pilingkata and Ratchera.

In this agreement, it was said that Assam would keep 18.51 square kilometers of land with it and give 18.28 square kilometers to Meghalaya. These lands are spread over a total of 36 villages.

Assam shares a 2743 kilometer border with Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and West Bengal. Apart from Meghalaya, Assam also has border disputes with Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

In July 2021, there was fierce violence between Assam and Mizoram police in Cachar district of Assam. In which six policemen of Assam Police were killed, after which the Center had to intervene in the matter.

However, several regional committees have been formed in the Northeast to resolve border disputes between states. Besides this, district level and state level committees are also working to resolve the dispute. And it is hoped that in the coming days the years old border dispute with all the states will end forever.

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