Akhil warns Assam govt against ‘unilateral move’ on border issues

GUWAHATI, Nov 25: Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi has warned the Assam government against “compromising” with the state’s constitutional boundaries “by taking unilateral decisions” in regard to decades-long border issues with four neighbouring states of the Northeast.

Addressing mediapersons at the party office here on Thursday, Gogoi said. “Ministers of the state have, of late, been visiting the Meghalaya and Nagaland borders. They have stated before the media that the inter-state boundaries with these states would be determined after consultations with the residents of the border areas. However, there has been no such discussion or resolution taken in the state Assembly so far.”

“Besides, there has been no public meeting in this regard. People of the state have therefore been ignorant of the state government’s plans in regard to arriving at solutions to inter-state border problems that have lingered on for several decades, with a few cases in regard to Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, still being heard in the Supreme Court,” he said.

Terming the signs as “ominous for the people of Assam,” the Raijor Dal chief cautioned the state government against any move that “violated the Constitution of India and betrayed public trust or was against the interests of the citizens of the state.”

“Four states, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram have had a long border problem and according to information provided by the state home department in the Assembly, these states have encroached on 69,010.82 hectares of land belonging to Assam,” Gogoi informed.

According to a reply in the Assembly by the state home department on August 9, 2021, the area of state’s land encroached by Nagaland is the highest (5,396.1296 hectares), followed by Arunachal Pradesh (395.2545 hectares), Meghalaya (3,441.8601) hectares and Mizoram (1577.56 hectares).

Over the past four months, the border row resolution between Assam and Meghalaya has made considerable headway with the three regional committees (each constituted by the respective governments) completing joint visits to villages in six “less complicated” areas out of the 12 areas of differences.

The final reports will be submitted to the chief ministers of the two states on November 30.

The chief ministers of Assam and Nagaland had a closed-door meeting in Jorhat on several issues of mutual interest recently. In regard to Arunachal Pradesh as well, a chief ministerial meeting is on the cards.

Meanwhile, the chief ministers of Assam and Mizoram are currently in Delhi for negotiations, four months after the police personnel of the two states clashed along the inter-state boundary on July 26, leading to seven casualties, including a civilian.

 

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