Help resolve Meghalaya-Assam border dispute: Mukul Sangma

July 5th, 2012 - 11:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, July 5 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Thursday sought the union government’s intervention on the prevailing situation in the disputed Langpih village on the Meghalaya-Assam border, where tribal Khasi villagers are on a fast-unto-death.

“I have sent a letter to the prime minister, union home minister and a communication to the Ministry of Home Affairs on the prevailing situation in Langpih,” Sangma told reporters here.

A letter has also been sent to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, he said.

“I have urged him to review the situation in the spirit of the discussions we had earlier. A sense of insecurity is prevailing there and there is need from Assam to exercise utmost restraint so that there is no perceived feeling of harassment.”

A group of tribals living in the disputed area in Langpih village have been on a hunger strike for six days to put pressure on the Meghalaya government to sort out the inter-state dispute with Assam.

Meanwhile, seven of the people on fast have been admitted to the Shillong Civil Hospital and Nongstoin hospital in West Khasi Hills district.

“The situation in Langpih is a matter of concern. A high-level delegation to be led by home minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh will visit the village tomorrow (Friday) to assess the situation and will also appeal to the activists to call off their fast in view of the seriousness of the government to resolve the issue,” Sangma said.

Langpih has been a bone of contention between the Assam and Meghalaya.

Assam lays claim to Langpih based on the recommendations of the Y.V. Chandrachud Committee report, while Meghalaya has rejected the report.

A committee headed by chief secretaries of the states has been formed to amicably resolve the issue.

Underscoring the need to set up the Boundary Commission to resolve the inter-state land dispute with Assam, Sangma said: “It will be a win-win situation for both the states if a Boundary Commission is set up to expedite the process of settling the border dispute.”

Sangma has urged the union government to facilitate the settlement process by prevailing over Assam to agree to the establishment of a Boundary Commission.

In fact, the Meghalaya assembly had adopted a resolution March 16 last year urging the union government to constitute a commission to re-examine and redefine the inter-state boundary between Meghalaya and Assam.

However, Assam assembly unanimously passed a resolution opposing the constitution of such a commission.

Meghalaya became an autonomous state in 1971 and a full-fledged state Jan 21, 1972. Since then, the inter-state boundary as defined under the North Eastern Areas (Re-Organisation) Act, 1971 has been a point of difference between Meghalaya and Assam.

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