Assam hardens stand, to defy Meghalaya 'diktat'

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Guwahati, May 30 (UNI) The inter state boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya has crossed over to political fields with the border clash becoming new turf between Congress and Nationalist Congress party (NCP).

According to official source, two Assam ministers would be going to Meghalaya border at the outskirt of Guwahati tomorrow morning to defy the Meghalaya 'diktat' and set up a public health centre to assert Assam's right over the land.

The Meghalaya government has asked the ministers to stay away while local organisations have called for bandh in protest against Assam's claim.

In view of a 24-hour bandh called by traditional organisations of Lagrin area in West Khasi Hills today, the state chief secretary has advised the Assam ministers not to visit the disputed place.

Two Assam ministers- Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Forest Minister Rakibul Hussian, will visit the disputed area to lay foundation of a health centre besides some official quarters.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Donkupar Roy visited the area on May 28 along with his ministerial colleagues to take stock of the situation. ''The area belongs to Meghalaya Constitutionally. The government will not allow encroachment on it,'' Mr Roy told reporters later at Shillong.

The Meghalaya government has alleged that Assam has encroached upon the area since 1979, besides pushing Nepali migrants to settle there.

Mr Roy claimed that Assam has encroached 40 kms inside Meghalaya, and contended that laying of the foundation could bolster their claim on the area.

The Meghalaya Chief Minister is expected to discuss the issue with his Assam counterpart in a day or two.


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