Saturday, April 13, 2024

Will not give any land to M’laya: Assam minister


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GUWAHATI, Feb 7: In a statement that could have an impact on the ongoing talks between Meghalaya and Assam to resolve the interstate border dispute in the remaining six areas of contention, the Assam government has made it clear that it would not give any land to Meghalaya, betraying the sentiments of the Assamese people.
“This government will not give any land to Meghalaya. We will not betray the sentiment of Assam,” Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora said in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Bora said the two states are moving ahead by taking feedback from residents of the disputed places and the administrations of both sides.
He was reacting to allegations by Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi that the Assam government was abandoning its rights over constitutionally received land to Meghalaya.
“Is the Assam government a donor of state land? Who has given you that right?” asked an infuriated Gogoi in the Assembly.
Leader of the Opposition, Debabrata Saikia pointed out that as per an independent commission of 1983, there was no jurisdiction for any claim made by Meghalaya over the disputed land.
“So, there is no question of giving away Assam land. The government should rethink its policy of giving our land to Meghalaya,” he added.
“Of the 36 disputed sites between Assam and Meghalaya, 18 have been settled, meaning ‘Assam gave away its land to the neighbouring state’ for a resolution,” AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam said.
Assam and Meghalaya have a longstanding dispute in 12 areas along the 884.9-km-long interstate border.
The two states had, in March 2022, signed an agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to resolve the dispute in six areas. Of the 36.79 sq km of disputed areas taken up for settlement in the first phase at six places, Assam got 18.46 sq km and Meghalaya received 18.33 sq km. (PTI)


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