Image: Assam Minister says solution to border row expected by year-end (ANI)
Assam Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora on Wednesday said the longstanding border dispute with Arunachal Pradesh is expected to be resolved by the end of this year.
He said notable progress is also being made in finding solutions to the boundary rows with other neighbouring states, while blaming the previous Congress governments in the state as well as the Centre for "not demarking the border" at the time of formation of the states.
Replying to a question by BJP legislator Hitendra Nath Goswami in the state assembly, Bora said, "We are hopeful of the resolution of our border dispute with Arunachal Pradesh by the end of this year." He said 12 regional committees have been formed by both the states to visit the disputed areas and prepare reports.
The two states will sign an agreement to settle the disputes based on the recommendations of these regional committees, the minister said.
Regarding the progress on resolution of the border dispute with Meghalaya, Bora said an MoU for settling differences in six out of 12 identified areas has already been signed between the two states.
Regional committees for the remaining six areas are pursuing the matter, which was delayed due to the Meghalaya assembly elections, he said.
As far as Mizoram is concerned, the neighbouring state has submitted its documents regarding the land claimed by it and the Assam government is examining those, he said.
The dispute with Nagaland is being heard by the Supreme Court and the witness testimonials from Assam are in the final stage, after which the process for Nagaland will commence, Bora said.
"There have been one-on-one discussions between the chief ministers of the two states, but not too deeply as the matter is sub-judice," he added.
Blaming the Congress for the border rows, Bora said the boundaries between the states should have been marked properly when these were being carved out of Assam.
"These states were formed out of Assam. The Congress was in power in the Centre and in Assam then. Had they solved it once-and-for-all, this situation wouldn't have arisen," he claimed.
On Goswami's request for statement by the authorities in case of skirmishes in the borders, the minister said the government approaches the matter with caution.
"Border is a sensitive matter. Miscreants are at play at times in creating trouble. Our chief minister has asked us to be on alert and progress with caution in any matter relating to inter-state borders," Bora added.
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