In presence of Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya signed historic agreement for settlement of inter-state border dispute

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What is the News?

Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya have signed an agreement in the presence of the Union Home Minister to resolve part of their five-decade-old interstate border dispute.

What is the dispute about?

During British rule, Assam included present-day Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram, which later became separate states. 

Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as a separate state in 1972, but Meghalaya challenged the Assam Reorganization Act,1971 leading to disputes in 12 locations in the border areas.

The 12 locations are Upper Tarabari, Gazang reserve forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah, Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah Block I and Block II, Khanduli and Retacherra.

What has been done to resolve the dispute?

The two states formed border dispute settlement committees. The committees submitted reports based on five mutually agreed principles: historical perspective, ethnicity of the local population, contiguity with boundary, peoples’ will and administrative convenience.

What is the agreement signed now?

Assam and Meghalaya CM have signed an agreement to resolve their border dispute in six of the 12 locations.

The six locations are: Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata and Ratacherra 

With this agreement, 70% of the border dispute between the two states has been resolved.

However, the remaining six points of friction are more complex and may prove to be a bigger challenge.

What are the other agreements signed in the North East to end extremism?

In the last three years, the Government has signed several agreements to end extremism and bring peace to the North-Eastern states:

Tripura: In 2019, National Liberation Front of Tripura(NLFT-SD) signed an agreement with the Government of Tripura to abide by the Constitution of India and also agreed to surrender its cadres with their weapons.

Bru Refugees: In 2020, the Center, governments of Tripura and Mizoram and representatives of the Bru tribe have signed an agreement to settle the Bru refugees in Tripura.

Bodo Accord: It was signed in 2020 to resolve the 50-year-old Bodo issue while maintaining the original form of Assam.

Karbi-Anglong Agreement: It was signed in 2021 to resolve the long-standing dispute in the Karbi regions of Assam. Under this, more than 1,000 armed cadres surrendered and joined the mainstream.

Source: This post is based on an article “In presence of Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya signed historic agreement for settlement of inter-state border disputepublished in PIB on 29th March 2022.

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