Monday, November 28, 2022

Arunachal-Assam border issue likely to be resolved by November end: Khandu

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that the state’s decades-old border problem with Assam is likely to be resolved by the end of November.
Khandu held a meeting with a high-level delegation from Assam including Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora and senior officials on Monday.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Khandu said that this meeting could be termed the penultimate one in the series of deliberations held between the two northeastern neighbours to solve the boundary issue.
“One more meeting is to be held between me and my Assam counterpart Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma for a final agreement and permanent solution. Both of us are determined to resolve all our differences by the end of November,” he said.
Sarma and Khandu on July 15 signed an agreement at Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh to end border issues between the two states and decided to “restrict” the number of disputed villages to 86 instead of 123.
Khandu said that following the Namsai Declaration, 12 committees each headed by a cabinet minister were formed by the two states. These committees jointly visited the disputed areas, took feedback from people of both sides and submitted their reports to their respective state governments.
“Today we discussed these reports district-wise in depth. I am happy that all reports are positive in effect and the committees of both the states have sincerely and jointly worked to find a permanent solution to this boundary issue,” he said.
The chief minister pointed out that if there is a “strong political will”, no issue can remain unresolved for decades.
“I have to especially thank Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma for personally coming forward to resolve the boundary row not only with Arunachal Pradesh but with all other northeastern states that share boundaries with Assam,” Khandu said.
The two states share an 804.1 km-long border. The grievance of Arunachal Pradesh which was made a union territory in 1972 is that several forested tracts in the plains that had traditionally belonged to hill tribal chiefs and communities were unilaterally transferred to Assam.
After Arunachal Pradesh achieved statehood in 1987, a tripartite committee was appointed which recommended that certain territories be transferred from Assam to Arunachal. Assam contested this and the matter is in the Supreme Court.

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