Cong leader Mukul Sangma hits state govt for turning blind to suffering of its people
Congress leader Mukul Sangma on Tuesday hit out at the ruling National People's Party-led Meghalaya government for turning a blind eye to the "pain" and "agony" of its people living along the boundary with Assam.
"There has been a standoff between Assam authorities and residents of Meghalaya, but how many times did the Chief Minister (Conrad Sangma) or Home Minister (James Sangma) speak to their counterparts," Mukul, a former Chief Minister, told journalists here.
"Their silence shows the complete insensitivity of the Meghalaya government towards its people," Sangma said, urging the Chief Minister and Home Minister to speak to their Assam counterparts to prevent a law and order situation along the inter-state border.
Sangma said also that the solution to the vexed boundary dispute could be found out only if political parties in both the states put a stop to politicising the issue.
Terming Assam an aggressor on the Meghalayan territory, Mukul suggested that the two state governments involve all political parties in the states to resolve the boundary dispute.
Recalling that Meghalaya had submitted documents pertaining to the areas of differences, the opposition leader said, "Assam was keeping quiet and sought time for studying the documents but they were engaged in various activities along the inter-state boundary. Maybe after studying our documents, they found that they were weak."
In fact, the Meghalaya Assembly had adopted a resolution on March 2011 urging the Union government to constitute a commission to re-examine and redefine the inter-state boundary between Meghalaya and Assam.
However, the Assam Assembly unanimously passed a resolution opposing the constitution of such a commission.
Meghalaya became an autonomous state in 1971 and a full-fledged state on January 21, 1972. Since then, the inter-state boundary as defined under the North-Eastern Areas (Re-Organisation) Act, 1971 has been a point of difference between Meghalaya and Assam.
The 12 areas of difference include Upper Tarabari, Gizang Reserve Forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah, Khanduli-Psiar area, Ratacherra and Blocks I and II.
The total area of difference is 2,765.14 square km, of which Blocks I and II cover 1,583.42 square km.
(With inputs from agencies.)