Regional

Shah calls for solving border disputes among NE states

GUWAHATI, SEP 10 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 9/10/2019 11:05:50 AM IST

During his two day visit to Guwahati that ended on Monday, Union home minister Amit Shah repeatedly urged all the eight states in the northeast to solve the long-pending border disputes amongst them, reports the Hindustan Times.

The issue was raised in his addresses both at the 68th plenary session of North Eastern Council (NEC) on Sunday and at the 4th conclave of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a BJP-led front of anti-Congress parties in the region, on Monday.

We want the border disputes in the northeast to get resolved soon. If the border dispute between India and Bangladesh can get solved, why can’t we find a solution to border disputes between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh or Assam and Nagaland?” questioned Shah in his address at the NEDA conclave.

In his address a day earlier at the NEC plenary, the Union home minister mentioned that border dispute between the northeastern states is a “big issue” and stressed, the “time has come to rise above it”.

The border disputes in the region mainly involve Assam and the four other states—Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya—that were carved out of it over the years. Assam shares an 804-km long boundary with Arunachal Pradesh. Though there was no dispute initially, allegations of residents of one state encroaching land on the other over the years have led to disputes and violence. A suit has been pending in Supreme Court since 1989 on the issue.

Similarly, Nagaland and Assam share a 434-km boundary and a dispute that’s going on for over five decades. Nagaland has been claiming some portions of Assam as its own while the latter is accusing the former of encroaching thousands of hectares of its land.

Both states have refused to accept recommendations of the two commissions set up by the Centre to solve the issue and a suit is pending in Supreme Court on the issue since 1988. There have been several violent clashes on the issue. Over 100 people have been killed, most of them on the Assam side, in attacks by armed men from Nagaland in separate incidents in 1979, 1985 and 2014.

The Assam-Meghalaya border dispute is over four decades old and there is contention between both the states at 12 points along the 733-km boundary they share. 

Several rounds of talks, including the last one held at the chief secretary level in June this year, have failed to solve the issue.

 

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