Bid to resolve Assam- Arunachal decade-old border dispute, 2 states sign pact at Namsai

Bid to resolve Assam- Arunachal decade-old border dispute, 2 states sign pact at Namsai

Guwahati: In a bid to resolve the seven-decade-old inter-state border dispute between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, the chief ministers of the two states on Friday signed an agreement at Namsai.

Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam’s Chief Minister, and Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh counterpart), agreed to reduce the number of contested village to 86 rather than 123.

“We have decided to restrict the ‘disputed villages’ to 86 instead of 123. Based on our present boundary, we’ll try to resolve the rest by September 15, 2022,” Sarma tweeted after meeting Khandu.

They also decided to form 12 regional committees headed by Cabinet ministers to find an amicable solution to the disputed villages along the border.

Sarma and Khandu reached an agreement in principle regarding 37 villages that were disputed at Friday’s meeting.

Arunachal Pradesh will continue to retain 28 villages located within its constitution boundary. However, Assam has given up its claims over three villages. 

“Both states would constitute 12 Regional Committees each covering the 12 districts of Arunachal and counterpart districts of Assam for joint verification of 123 villages to make recommendations to respective State Governments,” Khandu tweeted.

Before September 15, these regional committees submit their first tranches of the reports on any areas that have reached consensus.

Calling it the “Namsai declaration”, as the meeting was held at Namasai in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam chief minister Sarma said that both the states have decided to find an amicable solution to the seven decades old border dispute within this year.

“As and when the regional committees will conclude their deliberations and agreement is arrived at between the two governments, the draft MoU will be referred to the union government for its approval,” the Namsai Declaration stated.

Apart from the Chief Minister, members of Assam’s Cabinet Atul Bora (Shiv Singhal), Pijush Hazarika and Sanjay Kisan represented the Assam side. 

The Arunachal Pradesh government was represented by Pema Khandu (Chief Minister), Chowna Mein (Deputy Chief minister) and other ministers.