No easy solution to boundary dispute with Assam: Sangma

Shillong, April 8 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Monday admitted that the inter-state boundary dispute with Assam is not amenable to easy solution.

“Successive governments have pursued this matter (boundary dispute) earnestly, but the solution has eluded so far. This only suggests that the problem is not amenable to easy solution,” he said, in his reply to the debate in the state assembly on the governor’s address.

Sangma, however, promised that his government would continue to make more vigorous efforts towards finding an endurable resolution to the problem.

The four-decade-old boundary dispute between Meghalaya and Assam has witnessed a spate of incidents in recent past. Meghalaya has 12 areas of difference on the boundary with Assam.

“From our side, we have done extensive diligence and marshalled documentary materials to claims over the twelve areas of differences. These have been presented to the Assam side,” Sangma said.

He noted that they had to be “realistic” about a possible timeframe to resolve the boundary dispute, and his government will continue to press the central government for setting up a boundary commission.

On March 16, 2011, the Meghalaya assembly passed a resolution urging the central government to constitute a commission to re-examine and redefine the inter-state boundary between Meghalaya and Assam.

Informing the house that the Assam assembly has opposed a boundary commission, Sangma said his government is thinking of alternate strategies to arrive at a solution and would continue engaging with the Assam government to resolve the territorial dispute.

Earlier, opposition Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit disrupted the proceedings of the house after Speaker Abu Taher Mondal refused to allow his adjournment motion to discuss fresh encroachment by Assam inside Meghalaya.

Meghalaya became an autonomous state in 1971 and a full-fledged state Jan 21, 1972. Since then, the inter-state boundary as defined under the North Eastern Areas (Re-Organisation) Act, 1971, has been a point of difference between Meghalaya and Assam.

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