The Meghalaya High Court (HC) has ordered an interim stay to any physical demarcation or erection of border posts on the ground in connection with an interstate border pact signed by the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya earlier this year.
The Meghalaya Chief Minister – Conrad K Sangma and his counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma in March signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for demarcating the border in at least six of the 12 contested locations.
Justice H S Thangkhiew ordered the interim stay till the next date of hearing on February 6, 2023, based on a petition filed by four ‘traditional chiefs’ of Meghalaya.
“It is however understood that during the intervening period, no physical demarcation or erection of boundary posts on the ground, pursuant to the MoU dated 29.03.2022 shall be carried out, till the next date,” Justice Thangkhiew said.
The ‘traditional chiefs’ in their petition had urged the HC to set aside the MoU signed between the two northeastern states, claiming that it violated provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with special provisions for administration of tribal areas.
It is worth noting that Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972 and had since then challenged the Assam Reorganization Act, 1971, which had demarcated the border between the two states.