Border panels for Arunachal, Mizoram on the anvil: Himanta

Guwahati, Jan 20: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that regional committees, akin to the panels constituted to submit findings after visiting the Assam-Meghalaya border areas, would be set up for addressing the pending boundary issues with Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

Speaking to mediapersons in Haflong, prior to leaving for New Delhi via Guwahati, Sarma hoped that once the ongoing border talks with Meghalaya were over and a final agreement arrived at, the process of resolution of boundary disputes with Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram would gain momentum.

“Initial talks are going on with Arunachal Pradesh and very soon we will address our issues with Mizoram as well. I believe that with some effort, all issues between the two states could be addressed and resolved once and for all. But of course, the matter concerning border resolution with Nagaland is in Supreme Court, and the verdict of the apex court, when given, would be binding on both states,” the chief minister said.

It may be mentioned that Assam and Meghalaya had last year constituted three regional panels each to submit recommendations after visiting and interacting with the residents of six border areas where the issues/differences “are relatively less complicated”.

The panels had recently submitted their recommendations to the respective chief ministers, and the Cabinets of the two states, following a series of meetings and stakeholder consultations, approved the mechanism to arrive at a final settlement in the areas.

Sarma however exuded optimism that the state’s border issues with all its neighbouring states in the region would be resolved during his current term at the government.

Asked about the progress of the border dispute resolution with Meghalaya, Sarma said that “issues in nine out of the 12 areas of differences would be resolved earlier that the remaining three – Lampi (Langpih) and two areas in Karbi Anglong.”

“The process of arriving at a settlement in the three areas would take time, may be months or years….it is difficult to predict as of now…. Residents of the three border areas have to be taken into confidence first,” he said.

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