Rabha groups seek permanent solution to border problem

GUWAHATI, Sept 10: The All Rabha Students’ Union (ARSU) along with two other Rabha groups on Friday staged a peaceful demonstration at Boko in Kamrup district, seeking a permanent solution to the decades-old Assam-Meghalaya border problem through peaceful negotiations.

“We heartily welcome the recent initiatives by the two states to find a permanent settlement of the decades-old border dispute. However, we urge the Assam government to ensure during the settlement process that no village (existing in Assam territory since 1972) or land belonging to the state is parted with,” Ajit Rabha, ARSU (Kamrup district committee) president told mediapersons on Friday.

Representatives of the students union, along with those from the Rabha Mahila Parishad (Kamrup district) and the Sixth Schedule Demand Committee (Kamrup district), staged the demonstration, holding placards and shouting slogans demanding protection of villages in Assam in accordance with the Survey of India map.

The groups later submitted a memorandum in this regard to Assam border protection and development department minister Atul Bora through the Boko revenue circle officer.

“We have placed two demands in the memorandum. Firstly, we want a permanent and peaceful solution to the inter-state border row, and secondly, construction of a national highway through the Assam-Meghalaya border,” Rabha said.

It may be mentioned that Assam and Meghalaya have held two rounds of chief ministerial-level talks since July 23 and mutually agreed to start finding amicable solutions to disputes in six of the 12 areas of differences between the two states, which are “less complicated” in nature.

The six areas of differences are Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pilangkata and Ratacherra – falling under West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, East Jaintia Hills districts in Meghalaya and Cachar, Kamrup Metro and Kamrup districts in Assam.

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