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HSPDP raps MUA govt for submitting papers to Assam

Border dispute

SHILLONG: Hills State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) president, KP Pangniang, has questioned the erstwhile Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government for submitting documents of the state pertaining to the 12 areas of difference to Assam which inadvertently allows the latter to judge these.
According to him, the two states can submit their respective documents on claims and counter claims to a committee on the inter-state boundary dispute which will study these.
“There has to be a committee that will examine the documents submitted by both the states,” he said.
Making an outright allegation, he said the 12 areas of dispute are no longer depicted on the map of Meghalaya.
He said, “The state map of 1976 is totally different from the one of 2008.” He said the 2008 map no longer depicts the areas of Langpih village, Block I and Block II.
Demanding that the official map published in 1976 should be considered, he said school students are unfortunately learning the wrong map.
He said while Meghalaya has submitted its documents containing relevant information on the boundary to Assam, the latter has not reciprocated.
Pangniang suggested that the CEM of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) should re-constitute the committee on inter-state boundary to complete the mapping, reports etc pertaining to the borders. He added that the KHADC and the state government should be ready to provide the necessary records.
The state government and the KHADC have to be clear about the boundary of the 12 areas of dispute which accounts for around 2700 sq km. According to him, the KHADC should have a complete and clear report collected from the Elaka, Hima to identify the areas allegedly encroached upon by Assam and the disputed areas along the inter-state border.
“The KHADC and the state government should have the knowledge of its areas, the areas encroached by Assam and proper mapping of the areas,” he said adding that Meghalaya does not have proper documents or report. He said since 1975-76 around 21 rounds of talks have been held to resolve the lingering border dispute, but the absence of a compiled report of its border areas poses a major hurdle for Meghalaya. He claimed that neither the Secretariat nor the KHADC is aware of the position or status of dispute and the land which Assam has allegedly encroached.
Pangniang said the HSPDP will meet the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma before the latter meets his Assam counterpart. On the other hand, he attacked Assam’s Good Samaritan image of initiating the PMGSY road project outside the state’s jurisdiction at Balakhawa in Ri-Bhoi district.He said, “The road project should be discontinued. Why act over smart and offer development to residents outside its boundary? Why should Assam enter Meghalaya? Assam’s motive is to encroach into Meghalaya’s territory.”According to him, development activities cannot be taken up in areas outside the disputed areas. “Status quo on carrying out developmental activities is maintained in the areas of dispute after mutual agreement,” he said.

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