- NET Web Desk
The Garo community residing in Malchapara and Salbari hamlets located along one of the ‘areas of differences’ – Hahim sector have expressed their keenness to be with the northeastern state of Meghalaya.
As per a statement issued by the Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Assam state zone, the Garo residents of Malchapara and Salbari villages have strongly condemned a recent statement of GSU Assam state zone chief adviser – Tharsush K. Sangma mentioning that “Garo residents living in Hahim, Chutia Bazar, Salbari and Malchapara villages had expressed their willingness to remain in Assam.”
According to Shillong Times report, the villagers have also urged Sangma to withdraw the aforementioned statement. Responding to the same, Sangma obliged that “he did not want to hurt the sentiments of the Garos living there.”
Recently, on February 6 & 8, members of GSU (Assam state zone) along with representatives from All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), All Rabha Students’ Union (ARSU), All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union (AAGSU) visited the villages under four areas of differences – Hahim, Gizang, Boklapara and Khanapara-Pillangkata, and interacted with the residents.
In an attempt to resolve the long-pending boundary dispute over 6 among 12 regions, both the northeastern states of Assam & Meghalaya have agreed to swap lands, thereby portraying their utmost commitment to resolve the conflict.
Its worthy to note that for settling the border disputes, Assam & Meghalaya government on the first phase had formed three regional committees each, which is 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.