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CM iterates border panel

Shillong, June 23: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma today again raised the demand for constitution of a boundary commission to resolve the long-pending inter-state boundary dispute with Assam.

Sangma reiterated the demand during his meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.

The chief minister listed constitution of a boundary commission as the first point in the discussion he had with Singh.

In March 2011, the Meghalaya Assembly had passed a resolution to urge the Centre to constitute a boundary commission to re-examine and redefine the inter-state boundary between the two states.

Later that year, the Assam Assembly, however, adopted another resolution negating the Meghalaya resolution and the idea of having such a commission.

There are at least 12 areas of difference between Assam and Meghalaya. These include Langpih, Upper Tarabari, Gizang reserve forest, Hahim, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah, blocks I and II, Khanduli-Psiar and Ratacherra. They cover an area of around 2,700 square km, of which the two blocks cover around 1,500 sq km.

Sangma also reminded Singh on the need to sign the final settlement agreement with the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC). Before the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre had approved the agreed text for settlement.

The Meghalaya government also proposed an upgrade of the police establishment and infrastructure in militant-infested Garo hills. At the same time, it was of the opinion that the deployment of 15 companies of central paramilitary forces should be extended.

Meghalaya at present has four India Reserve Battalions. Sangma requested Singh to help the state in raising two additional battalions.

Further, additional funds of Rs 28.8 crore under the modernisation of police forces scheme, over and above the usual entitlement to support the State Special Forces Unit for weapons, ammunition, mobility, equipment, clothing and communication support, was sought from the ministry.

The ministry was also urged to expand the scope of special programme for India-Bangladesh border to cover the setting up of residential schools with focus on vocational and technical skills.


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