In a historic decision, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam signed an agreement to settle their longstanding border dispute. The historic agreement was signed by Assam CM Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma and Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu on April 20 in the presence of Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi.
The deal between the two states will put an end to the conflict involving 123 bordering villages. The agreement was drafted keeping in consideration the area’s history, demographics, administrative ease, proximity to the border, and aspiration of the locals.
According to the agreement, both state governments have agreed that this agreement will be final with regard to the 123 disputed villages and neither of the States will make any new claim related to any area or village in future.
On the occasion, Home Minister Amit Shah appreciated the efforts of the Chief Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma and Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu in resolving this long pending border dispute. The Minister highlighted that both states had formed a regional committee to settle the dispute, talked to the common people and worked to make it inclusive for everyone.
What was the border dispute?
Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, which was earlier a part of undivided Assam, share over a 700 km long boundary. While there were no tensions reported initially, frequent issues eventually came up.
When Arunachal Pradesh became a Union Territory in 1972, the region was called North East Frontier Agency until then, it claimed that Assam had been arbitrarily given control over many forested tracts in the plains that had historically belonged to hill tribal chiefs and clans. While Assam insisted that the transfer was carried out legitimately, Arunachal Pradesh maintained that the territory was transferred without the consent of its people. Reportedly, due to the border strife, many people of one state frequently crossed over to the other, some of whom allegedly encroached on the land, which also resulted in violence.
The Home Minister expressed confidence that the signing of the Agreement between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh was a milestone event that would ensure a developed, peaceful and conflict-free Northeast. Now after the Agreement, reportedly, a detailed survey will be carried out by the Survey of India in the presence of representatives of both state governments to determine the boundaries of both states.