Resolve Assam-Meghalaya border row, Meghalaya urges Centre

Shillong, March 22 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has sought the intervention of Home Minister Rajnath Singh in resolving the boundary dispute between his state and Assam, an official said on Tuesday.

Sangma and his Home Minister Roshan Warjri met Rajnath Singh on Monday here and again voiced Meghalaya’s request that a Boundary Commission be set up to resolve the border row between the two states, considering the sensitivities involved.

Sangma told Rajnath Singh that as bilateral efforts failed to bring about a mutually acceptable solution, the Meghalaya assembly has passed a unanimous resolution urging upon the Centre to constitute a Boundary Commission.

Meghalaya has 12 areas of difference on the border with Assam. The four decades old dispute has caused unrest in the recent past.

In 2011, the Meghalaya assembly adopted a resolution urging the central government to set up a commission to re-examine and redefine the boundary between the two states, having regard to the Constitutional provisions, relevant notifications and maps as well as historical, ethnic and linguistic linkages.

However, the Assam assembly unanimously passed a resolution opposing the constitution of such a commission.

On the insurgency problem in the Garo Hills region, Sangma reminded Rajnath Singh that the state government in 2012 made a proposal to the union home ministry for upgrade of police establishment and infrastructure.

The central ministry had subsequently sought an undertaking from the Meghalaya government that the recurring expenditure would be borne by the state from its own resources after the scheme is completed.

The state government made the undertaking in 2013 and the chief minister also wrote to the union home minister on the matter, Rajnath Singh was told and requested that the same may be considered and approved on priorty.

Sangma urged Rajnath Singh to urgently consider a state government request for the central government’s assistance in creation of a specialised commando force SF-10, the first phase of whose recruitment has been completed.

The state police have been making efforts to prevent illegal mining and illegal transportation of coal, but violations are still taking place due to lack of adequate forces, Rajnath Singh was told.

Sangma said the the home ministry had yet to act on the state government’s request to provide additional 15 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to effectively enforce the ban on illegal mining.

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