Meghalaya hints at legal battle over dispute with Assam

Shillong, April 12 : The Meghalaya government Thursday hinted that it would approach the judiciary if the four-decade-old boundary dispute with Assam did not get resolved through other means.

"We (government) have been taking all possible steps to resolve the boundary dispute (with Assam) and also to provide redress to the immense hardship and economic dislocation faced by the people in the affected areas," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said.

He said the government has been able to build its claims by presenting strong supporting documents and maps, amongst other evidence, to Assam.

"These documents and maps, amongst others, have been shared with the Assam government and are currently under examination by them. These documents are of ample evidentiary value and could eventually pave the way for adjudication before the judiciary if the situation so warrants," the chief minister informed legislators in the assembly.

Sangma was replying to a resolution moved by opposition United Democratic Party legislator Paul Lyngdoh to recommend to parliament to amend the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971, to facilitate the re-transfer of villages under Block I and Block II from Assam's Karbi Anglong district to Meghalaya.

Tabling the resolution, Lyngdoh said these traditional areas of difference with Assam emanated right from the inception of Meghalaya.