Itanagar/Guwahati, July 15: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister PemaKhandu and his Assam counterpart HimantaBiswaSarma on Friday inked a pact to end the decades-old border dispute between the two states, and they agreed in principle on restricting the number of contested villages to 86 instead of 123.
Chief ministers of the two North-eastern neighbours announced in separate tweets that they met at Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh and signed the agreement.
“We have decided to restrict the ‘disputed villages’ to 86 instead of 123. Based on our present boundary, we’ll try to resolve the rest by September 15, 2022,” Sarma tweeted.
Of the 123 disputed villages, a consensus has been arrived on 37 and 86 others are left.
According to the Namsai Declaration’, Sarma and Khandu agreed that out of the 37 disputed villages, 28 which are within the constitutional boundary of Arunachal Pradesh shall remain with the state while, three villages on which claims were withdrawn by Arunachal Pradesh, will be with Assam.
Six other villages which could not be located on the Assam side would also remain with the frontier state if they exist in Arunachal Pradesh, the agreement stated.
“Both states would constitute 12 Regional Committees each covering the 12 districts of Arunachal and counterpart districts of Assam for joint verification of 123 villages to make recommendations to respective State Governments,” Khandu tweeted.
These regional committees would submit their first tranche of the report on the areas or any other areas where consensus has arrived, before September 15.
As and when the regional committees will conclude their deliberations and an agreement is arrived at between the two governments, the draft MoU will be referred to the union government for its approval, the Namsai Declaration stated.