Regional

‘Meghalaya won’t agree to the terms of Assam to resolve border disputes’

Correspondent Shillong, Sep 16 | Publish Date: 9/16/2021 1:12:53 PM IST

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed the assembly on Thursday that if the government does not agree with Assam on a certain area of difference it won’t agree to the terms and conditions of that State.  

“We are very clear in our mind if there is going to be an area where we don’t agree and where Meghalaya says it is impossible for us to surrender, there is no question for us to  agree,” the Chief Minister said in the course of his reply to a special motion on the prevailing  boundary dispute between the neighbouring States.     

“Assam has also made clear to Meghalaya that the areas where both can agree on, the process of resolution can start,” Conrad said, adding that there were 12 areas of difference between the two states.   

 “Those which we cannot agree on, let us keep on the side, we will discuss it when the time comes. But let us at least try to move forward,” the Chief Minister said. He also said that both the States have agreed to first start discussion on six areas of differences in the first phase - Tarabari, Zizang, Hahim, Pilangkata-Khanapara, Boklapara and Ratacherra.  

Sangma said that these are smaller areas, lesser complicated compared to the other areas like Langpih, Khnaduli, Psiar, Block I and II.

 “We are not going to say that we will solve all six of them,” he said, even as he informed the House that there are no disputes in 30 per cent of border areas with Assam. 

On the demand of the opposition Congress members to discuss the border dispute with Assam based on the documentation finalized when it was in the government, the Chief Minister said that historical facts and documentations and land records are definitely going to play a very important role.

 “But the other side of the story is that while we have our documents, Assam also has their documents and therefore, the question arises whose documents will be more valid and of  course that can be only decided either when we mutually agree on it or a court has to  decide it,” Conrad emphasised. Taking part in the special motion moved by Congress legislator Mayralborn Syiem, several legislators rejected the idea of ‘give and take’ to resolve the long pending border dispute with Assam.

 “My mind is very clear on this issue, not an inch of land should be given to Assam. Rather, we should take away all our land that  are ethnically and culturally dominated by our people which are in Assam,” Congress legislator Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang said. 

Congress legislator George B. Lyngdoh asked as to what was the stance of the State government pertaining to the statement of Assam government that they are going to place 4000 troops along all state boundaries.    

Lyngdoh said that after the statement of the Assam government, in Iongkhuli and Umlaper Assam police entered.  “what steps were being taken for violation of the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act on those people whose land is in Meghalaya but had registered with Assam,” Lyngdoh asked. 

Leader of opposition, Dr. Mukul Sangma suggested that the documentation on the areas of differences compiled by the previous government led by him be made available to all the legislators of the state. 

 “The Congress would always be there when the interests of the people are taken into consideration and ensure that their interests are not compromised but are protected,” Mukul asserted. 

On the other hand, senior Congress legislator Dr. Mazel Ampareen  Lyngdoh suggested the House to constitute a House Committee to resolve the border dispute while other members stressed the need for free registration of land and the urgent need to resolve the issue. 

 

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