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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 02 December, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Dispute on the Assam-Meghalaya Border

Dispute on the Assam-Meghalaya Border

  • The killing of six people in an Assam police shooting comes ahead of the second phase of talks between the two states to resolve their boundary dispute, and there are fears that it will cast a long shadow over the talks.

Background

  • During the British colonial era, undivided Assam included modern-day Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.
  • Meghalaya was formed in 1972.
  • Its borders were drawn according to the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act of 1969, but the border has been interpreted differently since then.
  • Meghalaya's government identified 12 areas of difference with Assam in 2011, spanning approximately 2,700 square kilometres.
  • Some of these disagreements stem from recommendations made by a 1951 committee chaired by then-Assam chief minister Gopinath Bordoloi.
  • It recommended that Blocks I and II of Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya) be transferred to the Assam district of Mikir Hill (Karbi Anglong), as well as some areas from Meghalaya's Garo Hills to the Assam district of Goalpara.
  • The 1969 Act is based on these recommendations, which Meghalaya rejects on the grounds that these areas were originally owned by the Khasi-Jaintia Hills.
  • According to Assam, Meghalaya lacks the necessary documents to prove that these areas historically belonged to Meghalaya.

What is the border dispute?

  • In 12 stretches of their 884-kilometer shared border, Assam and Meghalaya have a long-standing dispute.
  • The two states recently signed an agreement that resolved the dispute in six of twelve areas.
  • Both states have recently formed regional committees. The second round of negotiations for the remaining six phases was scheduled to begin by the end of this month.
  • Three areas contested between West Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya and Kamrup district in Assam were identified for resolution in the first phase.
  • Two are available between RiBhoi in Meghalaya and Kamrup-Assam.
  • One between Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills and Assam's Cachar.

Both parties submitted reports that were based on five mutually agreed-upon principles:

  • Historical context
  • Local population ethnicity
  • Relationship with the boundary
  • Will of the people
  • Administrative comfort.

What are the names of the 12 locations?

  • Upper Tarabari, Gazang Reserve Forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah, Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah Block I and Block II, Khanduli, and Retacherra are some of the protected areas in the area.

India's Inter-state border disputes

Karnataka-Maharashtra

  • The conflict concerns the Belgaum district.
  • When states were reorganized in 1956, the area was transferred to Karnataka; prior to that, it was under the presidency of Bombay.

Assam-Mizoram

  • The border dispute between Assam and Mizoram is the result of two British-era notifications, issued in 1875 and 1933, respectively.
  • The 1875 notification distinguished the Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar and established the boundary between the Lushai Hills and Manipur.
  • Assam, on the other hand, wishes to have the boundary delineated in 1986,(based on the 1933 notification).

Himachal Pradesh-Haryana

  • The Parwanoo region has received attention as a result of the border dispute between the two states.
  • It is adjacent to the Haryana district of Panchkula, and the state has claimed portions of land in Himachal Pradesh as its own.

Ladakh-Himachal Pradesh

  • Sarchu, a region on the route between Leh and Manali, is claimed by Himachal and Ladakh.
  • Sarchu is located between the Himachal districts of Lahul and Spiti and the Ladakh district of Leh.

Assam-Arunachal Pradesh

  • The grievance of Arunachal is that the reorganization of North Eastern states unilaterally transferred to Assam several forested tracts in the plains that had traditionally belonged to hill tribal chiefs and communities.

Way Forward

Despite multiple rounds of talks, Assam's border disputes with other Northeastern states remain unresolved. Central Committee should be constituted to resolve the border issues permanently with the support of the states concerned.

Read Also: Northeast’s Integration

Source: The Hindu


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