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Assam – Meghalaya border issue: Govt determined to resolve dispute

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Shillong, Feb 21: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said his government is determined to resolve the boundary dispute with Assam.

According to him, the government had requested the Assam government’s intervention for withdrawal of the FIR filed against four villagers in connection with the incident of destruction of a foundation stone as per direction of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) at Jatalong village under Block-II.

The government has also assured action against illegal tax collection within Meghalaya territory.

Replying to a motion moved by Congress MLA from Mawhati Charles Marngar, the Chief Minister reiterated the intend of the government to resolve the area of differences between Assam – Meghalaya amicably.

“We are very determined to move this forward and to be able to come to a conclusion. For that, we all need to work together and take this issue up and in a positive and constructive manner we need to resolve these issues.”

In regards to the Jatalong incident, the Chief Minister said that the FIR was filed by the ranger of the KAAC and not by the Assam government

“There was a warrant of arrest (against the four local villagers). Accordingly, the chief secretary had written to the chief secretary of Assam requesting that the cases against these four individuals may be withdrawn and based that the process of discussion was initiated…I had also personally spoken to the chief minister of Assam and I had personally requested him that while these discussions and talks are going on, while we are trying to move forward in trying to find a solution these kinds of incidents will only aggravate the situation hence wherever possible we should try and amicably resolve such issues and he completely agreed with me and a very positive response was given by him and he said he will look into the matter and we are working on this together and I officially want to put it on record that we have always seen a very positive response from the government of Assam and especially the chief minister,” he said while expressing hope that the issue will be resolved very soon.

On the issue of illegal tax collection, the chief minister said that such tax collection taking place are definitely not in the Meghalaya administered areas as the state had brought broomsticks under the agroforestry products.

“In fact this decision of the MDA-I government has helped the farmers to a very large extent and hence the question of tax collection within the administered area of Meghalaya is not at all allowed and if there is a case like this we will immediately take action,” he said.

Sangma said such incidents are taking place in the administered areas of the KAAC.

“If there are such cases we can take it up with the government of Assam…,” he added.

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