BORDER DISPUTE WITH ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Assam Shares a length of 804.10 km inter-state boundary with Arunachal Pradesh. To solve the boundary disputes with Assam-Arunachal Pradesh a case in Original Suit No. 1/1989 has been filed in the Supreme Court of India. Now the Suit is in the trial stage.
A milestone has been achieved in respect of Assam’s dispute with Arunachal Pradesh. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh shares 804.1 K.M of inter-state boundary having 8 districts of Assam and 12 districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The State of Arunachal Pradesh claimed 123 villages on historical and other grounds before the Local Commission in 2007. As per the decision taken in the meetings held in Guwahati in the month of January and April, 2022 between the Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh,12 Regional Committees were constituted for joint verification of theses 123 villages. On July 15, 2022 the Historic Namsai Declaration was signed between the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh at Namsai, Arunachal Pradesh wherein the 123 claimed by Arunachal Pradesh were minimized to 86 villages.
Based on the recommendations of the 12Regional Committees, anMoUhas been signed by the two Hon’ble Chief Ministers at New Delhi in the presence of Hon’ble Union Home Minister, Govt. of India on 20th of April 2023. 71 of the 123 villages have been amicably resolved by the MoU and timelines have been fixed for finalization of the boundaries of the remaining villages.
ASSAM-NAGALAND BOUNDARY DISPUTE
The Assam Govt. is taking all necessary measures and adequate steps to protect its boundaries from illegal encroachment by the neighbouring State of Nagaland. Likewise sincere efforts are also being made for protection of lives and properties of the people living in these Border Areas. Many developmental schemes have been taken up to provide the people with all basic amenities of life. All incidents on the border are tackled promptly to ensure that they do not escalate to major law and order problems. Efforts are made by the local district administrations to maintain a high level of alertness with a view to ensuring peace, safety and security of the property of common man living in these areas. Eviction drives are carried out as and when necessary by the Revenue and Forest Department of Assam. To bring together the people living in the borders, the Govt. has initiated to Border Outreach Programmes which include cultural, social, music and sports events held in each border district with the counterpart district across the border. Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, Hon’ble MLAs, PRIs officials and general publics have participated enthusiastically and such programmes have generated much goodwill.
The State of Assam filed Original Suit No. 2/1988 before Hon’ble Supreme Court for identification of boundary and resolving of border disputes with Nagaland and for granting permanent Injunction restraining the State of Nagaland from encroaching the areas within the constitutional boundary of Assam and to declare that state of Assam as rightful owner of all the encroached areas and direct the state of Nagaland to hand over peaceful possession of those areas. The matter is now in the trial stage before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
BORDER DISPUTE WITH MEGHALAYA
As regards border disputes with Meghalaya all efforts are being made at bilateral level to bring about a mutually acceptable solution. At the behest of Govt. of India, Nodal Officers from the two states have been appointed for the Assam-Meghalaya border issues. Meetings of Nodal Officers are held from time to time for sorting out border problems of the two states and to minimize the points of difference between the two States. The last meeting between the Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya took place on 01/04/2017.
In the last two years, the Govt. has made tangible and unprecedented initiatives to end the border disputes conclusively by bilateral resolutions.The State of Meghalaya has 12 areas of differences with Assam. A path breaking move was made in the meeting between Chief Ministers of both the States held on 23/07/2021 at Shillong to resolve the contentious boundary issues by setting up 3 Regional Committees respect of the first 6 areas of differences out of the 12 areas of differences,headed by Ministersof both the States to engage with local people and community organization. Based on the recommendations of these 3 Regional Committees, anMoU has been signed by the two Hon’ble Chief Ministers at New Delhi in the presence of Hon’ble Union Home Minister, Govt. of India on 29/03/2022. As per direction of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, the Survey of India is on the process for demarcation of boundaries in the 6 areas of differences.
Another Chief Minister Level Meeting will be held shortly to resolve the issues of the remaining 6 (Six) areas of differences for which 3 Regional committeeshave already been constituted.
ASSAM-MIZORAM BOUNDARY DISPUTE
The length of Assam Mizoram Inter-state Boundary is 164.6 Km (Source Survey of India) and it touches the districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj of Assam.
The State of Assam accepts the constitutional boundary between Assam & Mizoram as defined by Notification No. 2106 A.P dated 09.03.1933 and the State of Mizoram Act, 1986. However, Mizoram’s stand is that, the boundary line should be as per the Inner Line notification No. 2299P. dated 20/08/1875 on the basis of historical and ethnic grounds.
The efforts of encroachment from Mizoram side have been going on since long and in the meeting between Hon’ble Chief Ministers of both the states held on on 24th September, 2014, have agreed on maintaining status quo, delineation and demarcation of boundary through a tripartite mechanism consisting of Survey of India and land authorities of both the states. However, time and again there have been further ingresses from Mizoram side and so far about 16.61 sq km of Assam territory has been encroached from Mizoram side with large scale destruction of forests in violation of the forest laws. The recent incidents started after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 when Mizoram set up COVID screening centers at various places by deploying their armed police forces within Assam territory which was objected to by the jurisdictional field officers from Assam side. There was a meeting held at New Delhi at Chief Secretaries level followed up by a meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary on July 09, 2021 where Mizoram has refused to even sign the minutes as agreed upon in the meeting.
With Assam and its neighboring states of Meghalaya & Arunachal Pradesh inching closer towards a permanent settlement of their border differences, Mizoram & Nagaland have also advocated the need for a negotiated settlement. Discussions have already started in a positive direction with Mizoram.Minister Level meetingshave taken place.Goodwill visit have been made between states, and as per the meeting held on 17th of November, 2022, the Govt. of Mizoram has placed their claims.As had been done with Meghalaya & Arunachal Pradesh, Regional Committees for Assam-Mizoram border issues will be constituted.