Thursday, June 20, 2024
North East

Noisy scene in Assam Assembly over inter-state border disputes

Guwahati, February 7: The Assam assembly on Wednesday witnessed a noisy scene over border disputes with other northeastern states as the opposition alleged that Assam is giving away its land to resolve the issue.
Raising the issue during the Question Hour, Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi said Assam is abandoning its rights over Constitutionally received land to Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh as per replies of Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora.
Reply to this, Bora said the land survey is going on and it is not clear which state will get what portions of the disputed areas.
“We are trying to settle the disputed land parcels,” he said.
When Gogoi reiterated his allegation that Assam is giving away state land, the minister said, ‘No one can satisfy Akhil Gogoi. He has been disturbing the assembly since he joined the proceedings.’ This led to a noisy scene with opposition and treasury benches engaging in a verbal duel.
“Is the Assam government a donor of state land? Who has given you that right?” asked infuriated Gogoi.
Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia pointed out that as per an independent commission of 1983, there was no jurisdiction for any claim made by Meghalaya over the disputed land.
“So, there is no question of giving away Assam land. The government should rethink its policy of giving our land to Meghalaya. For other states, the cases may be different,” he added.
Bora said the two states are moving ahead by taking feedback from residents of the disputed places and the administrations of both sides.
Of the 36 disputed sites between Assam and Meghalaya, 18 have been settled, meaning ‘Assam gave away its land to the neighbouring state’ for a resolution, AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam said.
‘This government will not give any land to Meghalaya. We will not betray the sentiment of Assam,’ the minister said.
Assam and Meghalaya have a longstanding dispute in 12 areas along the 884.9-km-long inter-state border. The two states had, in March 2022, signed an agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to resolve the issue in six areas.
Of the 36.79 sq km of disputed areas taken up for settlement in the first phase at six places, Assam got 18.46 sq km and Meghalaya received 18.33 sq km, Bora said.
Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972. (PTI)