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Gogoi house on 'disputed' land - Meghalaya stakes claim to area

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OUR CORRESPONDENT Published 24.01.12, 12:00 AM

Shillong, Jan. 23: It is not only Langpih or Blocks I and II that are disputed areas between Assam and Meghalaya.

Going by what the Congress-led government in Meghalaya maintained today, even Guesthouse No. 1, Khanapara, Guwahati — one of the most popular addresses in Assam — is located on “disputed territory”.

This is the address of Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi. The Meghalaya government has also claimed that there were records to prove its stand.

“We have official records to illustrate that the land where the official residence of Assam chief minister is located is disputed territory between the two states,” state revenue minister Roytre Christopher Laloo told reporters at the state secretariat.

The inter-state boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya has been dragging on for nearly four decades and there appears to be no immediate solution in sight. Both states have been making claims and counter-claims on several areas along the border.

Last year, during chief secretary-level talks, both sides resolved to look into the 12 areas of difference which include Upper Tarabari, Gizang reserve forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara-Pillangkata, Deshdemoreah, Blocks I and II, Khanduli-Psiar and Ratacherra.

During the talks held in August, the Meghalaya government conveyed to its counterpart that the land under these 12 areas of difference was around 2,700 square kilometres.

Laloo also said efforts were on from the state government to ensure that the pending boundary problem is settled.

On the resolution adopted by the Assam Assembly last year rejecting the notion of having a boundary commission to resolve the imbroglio, he said: “Before the Meghalaya Assembly had adopted the resolution to constitute a boundary commission, we never asked from them (Assam government). But we had intimated to the Centre about the resolution adopted by the House.”

During the winter session, Assam minister of state (independent charge) border areas, Siddique Ahmed, who moved the resolution, pointed out that a committee, headed by Justice Y.V. Chandrachud had already looked into the border dispute and had submitted its report on July 27, 1987.

Ahmed had also stated that Assam did not support a new commission on the same matter.

On December 19 last year, during the opening day of the winter session, the Assam Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution supporting the stand of the Tarun Gogoi government that there was no need to go for another boundary commission to resolve the boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya.

Months before that, during the budget session held in March last year, the Meghalaya Assembly unanimously resolved to prevail upon the Centre to set up a boundary commission to solve the vexed inter-state boundary dispute.

Laloo also said that till date, the state government had not received any intimation from the Centre on the fate of the boundary commission.

“So far no response has been received from the Centre but we are hopeful of a favourable reply,” the revenue minister added.

Dispur, on its part, maintained that there is no dispute, reports our correspondent in Guwahati. A CMO source said neighbouring states invariably keep on making attempts to occupy the state’s land.

Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri, under whose jurisdiction the area falls, told The Telegraph, “We are very clear about the land belonging to us as per our record.”

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