In a significant move towards settling the boundary dispute between their States, Assam, and Meghalaya Chief Ministers today signed an agreement in respect of six of the 12 “areas of difference” in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Speaking on the occasion, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the agreement signed by Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma and Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad K Sangma was a definite development towards dispute-free North East.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made several efforts for the peace process, development, prosperity and promotion of the cultural heritage of North East.
The Home Minister said that today another 50-year-old dispute was going to be resolved with the Assam-Meghalaya agreement. In a very short span of time, six out of 12 issues were settled between the two States, and about 70 per cent of the border between the two States had become dispute-free, he said.
He said the development of the Northeast is not possible unless disputes between States are resolved and armed groups do not surrender. He thanked the Chief Ministers and officials of both the States on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central Government.
After signing the agreement, the two Chief Ministers expressed their gratitude to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister for solving this decades-long problem.
The Home Minister said that during the last three years, the Government had signed several agreements to end extremism and to bring lasting peace to the North-Eastern states.
He said the NLFT (SD) agreement was signed in August 2019 to bring the extremists into the mainstream of society in Tripura which contributed greatly to making Tripura a peaceful state.
Then a landmark agreement was signed on January 16, 2020, to solve the 23-year-old Bru-Reang refugee crisis forever. Under this, more than 37,000 tribals who were leading a difficult life, are now living a life of dignity today.
Shah said that the Bodo Accord signed on 27 January 2020 resolved the 50-year-old Bodo issue while maintaining the original form of Assam. The Assam Government and the Government of India have fulfilled 95 percent of the terms of this agreement and today Bodoland is known as a peaceful region and is on the path of development.
The Karbi-Anglong Agreement was signed on September 4, 2021 to resolve the long-standing dispute in the Karbi regions of Assam. Under this, more than 1,000 armed cadres surrendered and joined the mainstream.
It was the consistent approach of the Central Government that inter-State boundary issues can be resolved only with the cooperation of the State Governments concerned and that the Central Government acts as a facilitator for amicable settlement of the boundary issues.