Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said his government will hold talks with Assam to resolve the remaining six areas of dispute at the inter-state border after August 15.
Speaking to reporters, Sangma said he met Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma in New Delhi on the sidelines of the Niti Aayog meeting last weekend and held a detailed discussion on the issue. "We decided that we will be having the first meeting for phase II after Independence Day," he said, after meeting a delegation of the Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong Border Area Raid Nongtung, a conglomeration of traditional village chiefs.
"The exact date has to be finalized but we will be meeting in Guwahati," Sangma said. Regional committees will be formed by the two states to take the process forward for the second phase of the border talks, he said. The delegation sought the intervention of the chief minister to ensure 18 of 34 villages under Raid Nongtung in disputed block-II be retained in Meghalaya.
"That is the reason why we have moved forward in six of the twelve areas in the first phase. We have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after detailed consultations and the people's will is what has led to the resolution of the first six locations," Sangma said.
Expressing confidence that the two states will also find a solution for the remaining six locations, the chief minister said it will take time. "We have to move forward and we have to allow the process to continue. We have to consult and engage with all the stakeholders that are involved," he said.
Synjuk president Blickstar Sohtun said they have urged the chief minister to ensure all the 18 villages under Raid Nongtung should not go to Assam at any cost. "The CM has assured us that very soon the border dispute will be resolved. We are confident that today's meeting will bring positive results for the people who have been facing various hardships and problems in the border areas," he said.