In a development that might kindle a new controversy over interstate borders between Assam and Meghalaya, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a reply in the assembly said the disputed Mukroh village falls under the state’s jurisdiction.
Reacting to it, Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Monday said the village is very much a part of Meghalaya.
On November 22 last year, a clash between the Assam Police, forest guards and civilians along the border with Meghalaya left six people dead, including five villagers in Meghalaya. Several were injured at Mukroh village in West Jaintia Hills district along the Assam-Meghalaya interstate border.
In a written reply to a question by BJP MLA Bidya Sing Engleng, Mr Sarma said Mukroh village is a part of West Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
“According to the information provided by the Superintendent of Police (Border) West Karbi Anglong district, the clash between Assam Police and forest pirates of Meghalaya was not related to interstate border dispute between the two states,” Mr Sarma said in a written reply.
The Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister called Mr Sarma’s statement “unfortunate”. Mr Tynsong told reporters that the regional interstate boundary committees would be reinstated and talks between the two states are expected to resume soon.
Talks on the border dispute have suffered a setback since last November’s firing incident.
The BJP in its election manifesto before the February 27 Meghalaya polls promised to solve the border dispute with Assam and set up permanent outposts to promote safety, security, and rule of law.
With two MLAs, the BJP is a part of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government led by the National People’s Party (NPP), headed by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.
An memorandum of understanding was signed in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah between Mr Sangma and Mr Sarma on March 29 “resolving” the six of the 12 disputed areas along the two states in the first phase.
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