Atul Bora

Certain forces have pressurized people residing in border areas in Assam to choose Meghalaya while settling the boundary dispute between the two Northeastern states, Border Areas Development Minister Atul Bora on said Tuesday.

Bora did not specifically mention from which source the pressure was being put, though local Boko MLA Nandita Das of the Opposition Congress claimed that Meghalaya Police also had a role in encouraging local residents to opt for the bordering state.

Replying to a Zero Hour discussion raised by Das in the Assembly, Bora said, “We have some reports that police administration is encouraging people (in border areas) to choose Meghalaya.”

“We have been observing all happenings in these areas minutely and our report will be based on it,” he added.

Bora and Das are members of a committee formed by the Assam government to look into the disputes in Kamrup (Rural) district areas bordering Meghalaya, and the panel had visited some of these areas a couple of months back for on-ground inspection.

They were accompanied by members of a similar committee from the Meghalaya side and during the joint inspection visit, the delegates had held meetings with the public to gauge their preference for either state.

Assam and Meghalaya had identified 12 points of disputes at chief ministerial-level talks in August this year, with six points, including the area under Boko legislative assembly constituency in Assam, taken up for resolution in the first phase.

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