Gogoi, Sangma discuss dispute
Staff reporter Assam tribune
GUWAHATI, June 5 – A meeting of the Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya decided to constitute a committee comprising the Chief Secretaries of both the states to finalize the modalities for a permanent solution of the border disputes between the two states.
Talking to The Assam Tribune after the meeting, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the government spokesman, said that the Chief Secretaries would complete the process of formulating the modalities for permanent solution of the border disputes within the next 45 days. The Chief Ministers of both the states would meet again to review the modalities immediately after those were formulated.
The Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya decided that a judicial probe into the incident of police firing at Lampi would be instituted and the terms of reference of the judicial probe would be finalized by the Chief Secretaries of both the states. The Assam Government has already approached the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court to nominate either a sitting or retired judge of the High Court for conducting the probe.
Both the sides agreed that there would be no new settlement in the disputed areas. Sarma said that there are 12 points of dispute between Assam and Meghalaya in the districts of Kamrup, Cachar and Karbi Anglong. He said that on Assam’s side, the disputes areas are mostly on forest land and there is no question of giving new settlement on those areas. However, Meghalaya also agreed that no new settlement would be given in the disputed areas.
Meanwhile, official sources said that both the Chief Ministers today stressed the need for resolving the disputes as soon as possible. The meeting further decided that in order to maintain peace in the disputed areas, particularly in Lampi and Psiar, the deputy commissioners concerned would meet at least once a week to discuss the problems. Sources said that the governments of Assam and Meghalaya agreed that no new encroachment would be allowed in the disputed areas and status quo would be maintained till the disputes are resolved.
Any development project in the disputed areas would be cleared by the deputy commissioners concerned of both sides. If the DCs fail to resolve the issue, the same would be referred to the Chief Secretaries of both sides, sources added.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his Meghalaya counterpart Mukul Sangma were assisted by a host of ministers and senior officials from both sides at the meeting held in the office of Gogoi here this afternoon.