New Delhi, July 26 :Trinamool Congress MPs on Tuesday held a protest at Vijay Chowk here demanding the repeal of the Assam-Meghalaya border agreement.
The two states had in March decided to end their five-decade-old border dispute in six of the 12 contested locations along the 884.9-km boundary that often led to tensions between them.
“We are trying to draw the attention of the Government of India to take cognisance of the sentiments of people of the state and scrap the Assam-Meghalaya border agreement,” said TMC leader Mukul Sangma.
Assam shares a 2,743 km boundary with Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and West Bengal. It is locked in border disputes with Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
“The issue of Assam-Meghalaya border, which has been pending for a long time, needs to be attended to by the present government. The current agreement does not acknowledge the sentiments of the people of Meghalaya and hence it must be repealed,” the party said in a tweet.
In a press conference later in the day Sangma said that any resolution that is decided upon should be acceptable to the people.
“The people of Assam and Meghalaya are like brothers and sisters. We are an integral part of the vibrant community of the northeastern states.
“Meghalaya, which was formerly a part of Assam, received statehood as our forefathers deemed it necessary. Currently, there are 12 identified areas of difference between the two states. The dispute resolution process must be acceptable to all stakeholders,” he said.
He said that in the context of Meghalaya, the stakeholders are the people to whom the land belongs. In Meghalaya, the local institutions have ownership over the land. Therefore, resistance from the people has sprung up, he claimed.
“The government of the day is in the mood to impose a decision which is not consistent with the spirit of democracy,” he said.
Urging the government to take immediate action, the party demanded not only the revocation of the Meghalaya-Assam border dispute agreement, but also the inclusion of Garo and Khasi in the Eighth Schedule.
“Language is an indispensable part of our identity. The Garo and Khasi language inclusion would multiply job opportunities for the youth of the state. Equal opportunity for all youth seeking employment must be provided. Due to the deprivation of the youth, palpable disgruntlement is on the rise,” he said.
Party MPs were seen holding placards and shouting slogans demanding the repeal of the agreement.
Source : PTI
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