Recently, six people, including an Assam Forest Guard, were killed during an alleged clash between the Assam Police and a mob from Meghalaya in area between the West Karbi Anglong district of Assam and Mukroh village in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills.
The Assam Megalaya Border dispute:
During the British rule, undivided Assam included present-day Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram.
Meghalaya was carved out in 1972 and their boundary demarcated as per the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act of 1969, but has held a different interpretation of the border since then.
In 2011, the Meghalaya government had identified 12 areas of difference with Assam, spread over approximately 2,700 sq. km of area.
Assam and Meghalaya have a longstanding dispute in 12 stretches of their 884-km shared border.
The two states had signed a pact in March 2011, resolving the dispute in six out of 12 areas. To solve the issue, they decided to form regional committees.
The Assam-Meghalaya pact was seen as a major achievement.
A final set of recommendations were made jointly: out of 79 sq. km of disputed area taken up for settlement in the first phase.
But, there still exists the area under tension between both the states.
The Disputed region:
There are six disputed sectors including Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata, and Ratacherra under the Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro), and Cachar districts of Assam and the West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills districts of Meghalaya.
A major point of contention between Assam and Meghalaya is the district of Langpih in West Garo Hills bordering the Kamrup district of Assam.
Langpih was part of the Kamrup district during the British colonial period but post-Independence, it became part of the Garo Hills and Meghalaya.
Assam considers it to be part of the Mikir Hills in Assam.
Meghalaya has questioned Blocks I and II of the Mikir Hills -now Karbi Anglong region – being part of Assam. Meghalaya says these were parts of erstwhile United Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts.
Both Assam and Meghalaya have constituted border dispute settlement committees.
They are historical facts, ethnicity, administrative convenience, mood and sentiments of the people concerned, and the contiguity of the land.