Meghalaya, Assam seek more time on border dispute

July 27th, 2010 - 4:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, July 27 (IANS) A committee set up to resolve the border dispute between Meghalaya and Assam - the last incident in May claimed four lives - has sought more to time to prepare the modalities.
“We have decided to seek more time from our respective chief ministers to resolve this vexed issue,” Meghalaya Chief Secretary W.M.S. Pariat told journalists Monday night.

“We need more time to prepare the modalities as there are some vital issues that both parties have to discuss and discuss thoroughly,” Pariat said. He along with his Assam counterpart would write to their respective chief ministers in the next few days, he said.

Meghalaya has 12 areas of differences with Assam.

The border dispute last hit the headlines May 14 due to an incident in Langpih, a village on the Meghalaya-Assam border that has been a bone of contention between the two states.

Following a clash between tribal Khasis and migrant Nepali settlers, Assam Police opened fire killing four khasi villagers and injuring several.

On June 5, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi constituted a special committee made up of the chief secretaries of both states to chalk out modalities and submit its report to the government within 45 days.

The chief secretaries, however, failed to meet the deadline saying the 45-day period was too little for fixing modalities which is “not only complicated but also difficult”.

Stating that the border dispute has been pending for the past many years, Pariat said: “Leaders in the past have tried to solve the issue, but it was not easy as there were claims and counter claims from both the sides over possession of land.”

This time, however, Pariat said, Assam is showing seriousness in solving the border dispute with Meghalaya.

The chief ministers of both states have agreed to resolve the vexed border disputes amicably.

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