‘Negotiations can solve border dispute’

SHILLONG: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday said the two states would resolve their long vexed boundary dispute through ‘mutual negotiations’.
Speaking to reporters after inaugurating the Assam Bhawan in the city, the newly crowned Assam chief minister said all North Eastern states have to move together like a family and sort out their differences.
Stating that the boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya was a ‘family matter’, he said it is possible to arrive at a solution for any problems through negotiations.
According to Sonowal, the entire North East region has to strengthen its position in the country and there is a need for the region to explore possibilities for mutual growth of the region.
It may be reminded that the Meghalaya-Assam boundary dispute has been a long pending and controversial issue which has resulted in gunfire confrontation between residents of Meghalaya and armed forces of Assam, claiming the lives of 4 people on May 14, 2010.
Though both the states have engaged in a series of talks for the last three years over the issue and even   exchanged maps and other documents to substantiate their claims to the disputed territories, a permanent solution remains a far cry.
The Meghalaya government had in 2012 submitted documents and maps related to the 12 areas of differences to the Assam government to substantiate the former’s claim over these areas.
The 12 areas of dispute are Upper Tarabari, Gizang Reserve Forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara-Pillangkata, Desdemorea, Block I and Block II, Khanduli-Psiar and Ratacherra.
Later, the Assam government also sought further details after the names of the villages submitted by the State government did not tally with those of Assam villages.

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