Guwahati, August 9, 2023: In a collaborative move, officials from the states of Assam and Meghalaya have agreed to embark on a joint visit to the contested Langpih region in Meghalaya’s West Khasi Hills district.
This visit is aimed at engaging with key stakeholders, local representatives, and residents of the area before reaching a final decision on the interstate border, as announced by Paul Lyngdoh, the chairman of the regional committee overseeing the matter.
The Langpih area has been a focal point of dispute between Meghalaya and Assam, with both states asserting their claims over the territory. Notably, the dispute reached a critical point in 2010 when four individuals lost their lives during the height of tensions over the region.
Heading the delegation from Meghalaya’s regional committee, Cabinet Minister Paul Lyngdoh convened a significant meeting with his Assamese counterpart, Chandramohan Potawari, chairman of the Assam regional committee, in Guwahati. The discussions yielded a promising outcome, with Lyngdoh expressing an optimistic view that the long-standing issues surrounding Langpih will soon be relegated to history.
Lyngdoh elaborated, “The joint committees will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the Langpih sector, engaging with all pertinent stakeholders, local representatives, and the local populace. We anticipate that the challenges tied to Langpih will soon be resolved.”
A noteworthy aspect of the discussions was the spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation demonstrated by both regional committees. The Assam committee signaled openness to a proposal that involves identifying certain villages as “problem-free” areas, where residents have a preference to remain under the jurisdiction of Meghalaya. This proposal aligns with the historical presence of Meghalayan voters in these areas, with the local government actively carrying out developmental initiatives for many years.
Lyngdoh further highlighted his aspirations for the seamless transfer of these specific areas to Meghalaya. He emphasized that such a transition is increasingly plausible through the collaborative efforts and commitment of the Assam government.
Looking ahead, Lyngdoh revealed plans for a subsequent round of joint discussions following August 15, building on the momentum established during the initial meeting.
It’s worth noting that in March of the previous year, Assam and Meghalaya took a significant step toward resolution by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Delhi. The MoU was aimed at formally addressing interstate disputes across six contentious areas between the two states, setting the stage for more amicable relations moving forward.