- NET Web Desk
The Asom Sattra Mahasabha – one of the largest religious organization of Assam, aiming to preserve and promote the Neo-Vaishnavite faith among citizens has strongly opposed the “give-and-take” policy undertaken by Assam & Meghalaya Government to sort-out the long pending boundary disputes between the two northeastern states.
According to the land-swap agreement, atleast 11 Vaishnavite Sattras situated along the Assam-Meghalaya inter-state border are likely to be handed-over to Meghalaya.
Recently, both the northeastern state governments have identified natural boundaries such as rivers and forests, thereby agreeing to equally share 36.79 sq kms incorporating of – 36 villages along the six places of differences – recommendation of which have already been submitted to the Union Minister of Home Affairs & Cooperation, Amit Shah. If the recommendation is approved by the Centre, these 11 Vaishnavite Centres will be handed-over to Meghalaya, a northeastern state comprising of sizeable Christian majority.
These Vaishnavite places of worship situated along the inter-state border comprises of – Netwajapa Sattra of Longshai; Bura Bhugdiya Gosai Namghar of Ouguri; Noonmati Gosai Namghar of Jimiri Gaon; Ranibari Namghar; Salser Namghar; Banaspati Namghar of Boklapara; Umsur Namghar; Matesar Sattra of Matesar; Lungkher Namghar; and Sonari Namghar of Bhalakhowa.
However, the ASM general secretary Kusum Kumar Mahanta through a recent statement threatened to launch a mass agitation, if the State Government proceeds to cede any of its territory.
He claimed that Assam had surrendered land to Meghalaya without conducting any proper survey and strongly condemned the new move to cede more territory of Assam in the name of resolving a border dispute.
Mahanta also urged the state government to do justice to the Vaishnav people and ensure that they remain within the boundaries of Assam.
Its worthy to note that for settling the border disputes, Assam & Meghalaya government had formed three regional committees each, led by Cabinet ministers and officials of the two northeastern states. These committees were directed to focus on 5 aspects – historical facts, ethnicity, administrative convenience, contiguity of the land, willingness and people’s sentiments.
Based on the same, the regional committees were tasked with the responsibility of making joint visits to “areas of differences” along the inter-state border, thereby interacting with all stakeholders, village heads, record their views, and finally submit their reports.
Out of 12 disputed locations, in the first phase, 6 disputed locations were mutually studied – Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Baklapara, Khanapara (Pilingkata) and Ratacherra. These areas fall under Cachar, Kamrup and Kamrup Metropolitan districts of Assam and West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya.