The second phase of talks to resolve Assam-Meghalaya border dispute in the remaining six ‘areas of difference’ began on Wednesday with a Chief Ministerial-level talk at Guwahati’s state guest house in Koinadhora.
The chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya after the meeting decided to jointly pay a visit to the Karbi Anglong and West Jaintia Hills areas next month to discuss the settlement of the border dispute in the remaining six areas.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while speaking to reporters after the Chief Minister level talks, said that they will jointly visit Karbi Anglong and West Jaintia Hills areas in June as part of confidence-building measures.
He said, “From today the regional committees of both the states will start meeting and visiting the other state’s sites or areas, where difference still exists. In the month of June, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and I will visit Karbi Anglong and the Jaintia Hills area where presently some unrest is going on as a confidence-building measure.”
“The people on both sides will feel confident and they will be assured that both the states will resolve the differences and dispute with a spirit of the long-existing friendship between the people of Meghalaya and Assam,” CM Sarma added.
The Regional Committees of both states will submit their reports by July end after which the CM-level review meeting will be held.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that this is the beginning of the process to find a solution for the remaining six areas of differences.
“We have asked regional committees to do fact-finding and start the same process as was done for the first phase of talks. We will consult with stakeholders and we hope to get reports very soon, some areas may take time and some will be faster,” he said.
He also reiterated that the two CMs will visit West Jaintia Hills and Karbi Anglong, where some tension is prevailing there, and appeal for peace and assure the people that through a process, a solution will be arrived at.
“I am confident in the leadership of Chief Minister of Assam and Govt of India and we will find a way to resolve the matter with mutual trust and friendships,” he said.
Meghalaya CM further said, “At the same time, we have asked the Survey of India to continue with their survey work of the first six areas of differences and complete their surveys.”
He also mentioned that the chief minister of both states will meet in July again.
In March last year, an MoU to resolve the border dispute in six out of the 12 areas of differences was signed in New Delhi in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya.