CS-level border meet harps on welfare of residents

SHILLONG: The chief secretaries of both Meghalaya and Assam — PS Thangkhiew and Alok Kumar respectively — in a meeting held on Friday in Dispur, decided to accord paramount priority to welfare of border residents.
The recent minor irritants in the border areas were discussed by the chief secretaries in their preparatory meeting to pave the way for the next chief minister-level meeting.
The date of the meeting is yet to be fixed.
Chief secretary-level meetings on border dispute have not been held for many years.
Thangkhiew said on Monday that the meeting felt that in the name of border dispute, the welfare of the people should not be affected.
“We have to accord top priority to welfare of the people and both the states have agreed on it”, he said.
Earlier, the Meghalaya government had submitted a list of 12 areas of differences along with the map to substantiate its claim over those places.
Sources said that during the meeting on Friday, Assam and Meghalaya decided to ensure safety and security of the border residents.
There was a demand from several quarters to resolve the long pending border dispute after Michael Warjri, the secretary of Hima Nongspung in Ri Bhoi, was attacked last month.
The locality, however, does not fall under the 12 areas of differences.
The chief secretary-level meeting also assumes significance in the wake of the recent stand-off between Assam and Meghalaya police at Psiar on the inter-state border.
It was first the Assam police personnel, who had set up a border outpost at Umkhirmi which was later dismantled under pressure from Meghalaya.
Later, after the Meghalaya police set up a border outpost at Psiar, there was tension in the border, which, however, was doused after the Meghalaya platoon was moved to Sahsniang from Psiar following a meeting between officials of the two states.

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