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Regional Committees hopeful of resolving Assam-Arunachal border row

Besides, the regional panels of Arunachal and Assam, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Agriculture Minister Atul Bora respectively, had a joint meeting at Namsai, official sources said.

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Itanagar: Making yet another stride towards resolving the decades-old inter-state boundary row between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, the Regional Committees formed by both the State Governments on Monday jointly visited the ‘disputed’ areas and met the villagers along Assam’s Tinsukia and Arunachal’s Namsai district. 

Besides, the regional panels of Arunachal and Assam, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Agriculture Minister Atul Bora respectively, had a joint meeting at Namsai, official sources said.

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This ‘development’ comes following the ‘Namsai Declaration’ signed on July 15 last by the Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, Pema Khandu and Himanta Biswa Sarma respectively, to resolve the vexed border issue between the two neighbouring states.

“Subsequent to the ‘historic’ Namsai Declaration signed on 15th July 2022, first meet of the Regional Committees was held today at Namsai between Tinsukia-Namsai districts to hasten the process of resolving Assam-Arunachal Boundary dispute,” an official communique said.

Joint inspections to areas identified as disputed were held by the Chairmen of the Regional Committees of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh – Atul Bora and Chowna Mein respectively, along with MLAs Bolin Chetia (Sadiya) and Chau Zingnu Namchoom (Namsai), Jummum Ete Deori (Lekang) and Karikho Kri (Tezu), and DCs and SPs of respective districts and other officials of the department.

Also, the boundary pillar at Hemanta Tengapani village in Assam, bordering Mengkengmiri village of Namsai district erected in 1984 by Survey of India was sighted by the visiting teams, it said.

“Both the Chairmen asserted that the region had no significant area of dispute, however some deviation from constitutional boundary has been observed which can be resolved through dialogues considering the dispute resolving outlook manifested by all involved,” the communiqué said.

It may be mentioned that in a bid to find a lasting solution to the protracted boundary issue, the state governments of both Arunachal Pradesh and Assam constituted 12 Regional Committees to examine the present status of the border dispute between the two sisterly states.

Chowna Mein, who heads one such Regional Committee, Arunachal Pradesh, said visit along similar lines will be held in all the 12 disputed areas of different districts and he is positive that with the beginning of this action and through effective dialogues, number of disputed villages will further be minimised from 86 to a much lower number.

Atul Bora, Chairman, Regional Committee, Assam stated that strong political will of both the CMs have led to a successful out-of-court mechanism of dispute settlement and that he is hoping to solve the matter once and for all.

“We are certain that with persistent efforts of HCM Dr @himantabiswa and cooperation of Arunachal Pradesh HCM Shri @PemaKhanduBJP, we will be able to amicably resolve border issues. This initiative will bring lasting peace & all-round development to Assam – Arunachal border areas,” Bora tweeted.

Respective Regional Committees will submit the first tranche of their reports before September 15 next, the communiqué said.

Meanwhile, informed sources said that a similar Regional level Border Committee meeting was held at Assam’s Balipara in Sonitpur district on Monday. 

From Arunachal Pradesh, Forest Minister Mama Natung along with Pakke Kessang MLA Biyuram Wahge and from Assam, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika along with MP Pallab Lochan Das and MLAs Promod Borthakur (Biswanath) and Krishna Kamal Tanti (Rangapara) and senior officers from both sides attended the meeting.

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