End border row permanently, says Lanong

SHILLONG, Jan 25: The chief adviser of the United Democratic Party, Bindo Mathew Lanong has urged the Meghalaya and Assam governments to solve the inter-state boundary dispute once and for all.
He told reporters on Tuesday that the boundary row should be solved on the basis of goodwill and understanding.
Lanong also said the solution should be based on the actual boundary because the natural boundary of the years past is no more.
Some hills, for instance, have been wiped out, Lanong said. “Therefore, my suggestion is that the present situation should go into resolving the inter-state boundary dispute. But it is also important to see the papers and the maps and consult those old documents. I think it will be resolved if we go by the spirit of goodwill and understanding as people of the same country,” he said.
He said that he would like the current crop of leaders in Assam and Meghalaya to display quality leadership in finding a permanent solution to the long-pending issue.
The UDP chief adviser underlined the importance of taking into account the interest of the people on both sides of the border since they need each other.
“We know of the fact that there are people of Meghalaya who are in Assam and there are people from Assam who reside inside Meghalaya,” he said.
He, however, said people should know the history of the border of the Khasi states before India as a country came into existence.
“It will be good to know the actual boundaries before India’s independence. We know the British were in touch with the Syiem of the Khasi states,” Lanong said.
“While resolving the boundary it will be good to go by history. But it should be more on what it (situation) is today,” he added.
Referring to the Chandrachud Committee constituted in 1985 to find an amicable solution to the border dispute, he said the panel in its report did not make any recommendations for resolving the row.
Lanong said the issue could have been resolved earlier when there was a Congress government in Assam, Meghalaya and at the Centre.
“But Congress never took a serious initiative to resolve this long-pending issue. I totally blamed Congress for its failure to pursue this matter to its logical end,” he said.
Lanong backed the decision of the former leaders to accept a full-fledged state without the proper demarcation of the boundaries.
“I think what was more important then was to get our own state first and demarcate the boundary later,” he said.

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