18 Apr Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute Agreement
Posted at 18 Apr 2022 in Current Affairs 0 Comments
Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute Agreement – Today Current Affairs
Assam and Meghalaya have partially resolved a 50-year-old border dispute in six of the 12 sectors.
Today Current Affairs
How did the boundary dispute start?
- Meghalaya, carved out of Assam as an autonomous State in 1970, became a full-fledged State in 1972.
- It was based on the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act of 1969
- The Meghalaya government refused to accept it because the Act followed the recommendations of a 1951 committee that defined the boundary of Meghalaya.
- Based on the panel’s recommendations, areas of the present-day East Jaintia Hills, Ri-Bhoi and West Khasi Hills districts of Meghalaya were transferred to the districts of Assam.
- After claims and counter-claims, the dispute was narrowed down to 12 sectors on the basis of an official claim by Meghalaya in 2011.
How did the two governments go about handling the issue? The Hindu Analysis
- In 1983 a joint official committee was formed to address the issue.
- The committee suggested that the Survey of India should re-delineate the boundary with the cooperation of both the States but there was no follow-up action.
- In 1985 an independent panel headed by Justice Y.V. Chandrachud was constituted.
- Meghalaya rejected the report as it was allegedly pro-Assam.
- In 1991 both the governments agreed to jointly demarcate the border with the help of the Survey of India. Today Current Affairs
- About 100 km of the border was demarcated by the end of 1991, but Meghalaya found the exercise unconstitutional and refused to cooperate.
- In 2011, the Meghalaya Assembly passed a resolution for central intervention and the constitution of a boundary commission.
- The Assam Assembly retaliated with a resolution to oppose the move.
- The Centre made the two governments appoint nodal officers to discuss the boundary dispute.
- In 2019, the Meghalaya government petitioned the Supreme Court to direct the Centre to settle the dispute but the petition was dismissed.
What about the current agreement? The Hindu Analysis
- Both States formed three regional committees, one each for a district affected by the disputed sectors.
- The main objective is to end the boundary dispute between the two states in six of the 12 areas along their 885-km boundary.
- The committees, each headed by a cabinet minister, were given “five principles” for approaching the issue which includes: historical facts of a disputed sector,ethnicity,administrative convenience,contiguity of land preferably with natural boundaries such as rivers, streams and rocks
- Of the disputed territory (a little over 36 square kilometres), the two States will get a near equal share, enshrining the sharing principle by adopting a give-and-take approach. Today Current Affairs
- The agreement was signed by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma, in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah.
- There is a fear among non-tribal people that they could end up living in a region with no rights.
What will be the impact of the settlement on other border disputes in the North-East? The Hindu Analysis
- Assam, the mother State from which other States were carved out in the northeast, currently has boundary disputes with Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
- The agreement amplifies cooperative federalism and provides a road map for resolution of other boundary disputes between states.
- It is said that in the next six-seven months, the second phase of resolution would commence for the remaining sites.