Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on May 24 said ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’ when talking about resolving the remaining 6 areas of difference between Assam and Meghalaya.
Assam and Meghalaya formally began talks on the border dispute between the two States on Wednesday.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma met at the State Guest House in Guwahati to discuss the issue and set a timeline.
Although the Assam CM said a timeframe was difficult to set because the complexities involved in resolving the 6 areas were high when compared to the other 6 areas that have been resolved, the Meghalaya CM said, “We believe that where there is a will, there is a way and we will find a way forward, with trust and friendship we have had. It will continue to guide us to ensure that we resolve these 6 areas of differences which are critical to be resolved.”
The six areas to be taken up in 2nd phase of border talks include Langpih, Borduar, Nongwah-Mawtamur, Desh Doomreah, Block 1 & Block II, and Psiar-Khanduli.
In recent months, conflict and tension have arisen in several pockets of these 6 areas of differences. On May 11, a scuffle erupted between the Khasi-Pnar and Karbi people residing along the interstate border between Meghalaya and Assam at Khanduli in West Jaintia Hills. On November 22, 4 people were killed and 4 severely injured in firing at Mukroh Village in Laskein Block -1, Jaiñtia Hills District. In Langpih, right from the early 2000s till date, there have been a series of ethnic clashes between the Khasi and Nepali communities.
However, the Chief Ministers of the two States are keen to solve the border issue with “mutual trust” and “friendship”.
On asked about the complications in the six areas, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said there are certain areas in which the Assam Government does not have control over the land but the direct control over the land is with the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC).
“So, these areas will be a little bit difficult but as Meghalaya Chief Minister has said, where there is a will, there will be a way… so we have decided to go ahead, to progress with the spirit of friendship and we believe a solution will come up,” he said.
“These six areas are a little complicated in nature, so putting a time frame is probably not a fair idea but what we have agreed today is that we will again meet in the month of July to review the progress of work done by the regional committees,” added Sarma.
The Regional Committees from both the states will start meeting, discussing and conducting fact findings in these areas where differences still exist, and most probably in the month of July, these committees will submit their reports after which the CM-level talk will be held again.
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