Assam, Meghalaya chief ministers to discuss border Saturday

Shillong, May 31 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Monday said he will meet his Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi Saturday to resolve the inter-state boundary dispute.

‘I have spoken to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and finalised the date for discussions on the boundary dispute,’ Sangma told reporters.

He said he has also spoken to Home Minister P. Chidambaram and updated him on the latest development on the boundary dispute.

The Meghalaya chief minister rang up Gogoi after Assam officials had forcefully occupied a health sub-centre at Psiar village, which is under the jurisdiction of Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district.

‘I also took up the issue (Assam encroachment in Jaintia Hills district) with Gogoi and the Assam officials have vacated the centre this afternoon,’ Sangma said.

Sangma said he has suggested to Gogoi to facilitate a meeting between the district administrations of Jaintia Hills and Karbi Anglong to instill confidence among the people living in the border area and to help rid them of the mistrust that has cropped up.

Asked what would be the reason behind Assam’s aggressive encroachment on Meghalaya land, the chief minister said his government’s priority is to solve the border issue with sincerity.

Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee of Social Organisations (JACSO) of Jaintia Hills Tuesday asked Sangma to immediately set up permanent police outposts at Psiar, Mukroh and Khanduli with maximum strength in the wake of the ongoing encroachment by Assam.

On May 14, four Khasi people were killed and several injured in firing triggered by Assam Police personnel at Langpih village.

Langpih, a village on Meghalaya-Assam border, has been a bone of contention between the two neighbouring states.

A committee headed by the chief secretaries of both states has been formed to amicably resolve the boundary issue.