Meghalaya considering to move apex court against Assam

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Shillong, Jun 3 (UNI) Meghalaya is considering to move the Supreme Court if talks with Assam fail to resolve the inter-state border problem, even as the Congress called for Central intervention.

''We don't want to declare war. Meghalaya and Assam are like brothers and sisters. If a solution to the matter cannot be found through talks with Assam, we will have the option of going to the Central government or the apex court,'' Meghalaya Chief Minister Donkupar Roy told reporters here yesterday.

Dr Roy said the state government was still waiting for a reply from Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for talks on the dispute.

Dr Roy ruled out third party mediation and said his government would continue to explore possibilities to amicably settle the vexed issue with Assam.

''Before creation of Meghalaya, Langpih was annexed to Kamrup district of Assam for administrative convenience. With the formation of the United Khasi-Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (UKJHADC) in 1951-52, the area was tagged on to the Council till the statehood of Meghalaya. It was only in 1979 that Assam used police force to encroach upon the area,'' he said.

Deputy Chief Minister (Home) Hoping Stone Lyngdoh said two platoons of armed police had been sent to Langpih to provide security to local villagers in view of the incursion by Assam into the area.

''We have sent two platoons of the state police to ensure security to the local villagers. IGP of Eastern Range, BL Buam and West Khasi Hills District Superintendent of Police, H Kharkrang visited the area yesterday to assess the situation,'' Mr Lyngdoh said.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress has condemned the Meghalaya People's Alliance government for their confrontational policy on the Langpih issue.

''This policy of confrontation will not solve the problem. Rather it would aggravate the situation and create bitterness between the two states. The best way to resolve this issue is through a conciliatory approach between both the state governments,'' CLP leader DD Lapang said.

Mr Lapang, who is also leader of the Opposition, said the issue of boundary dispute was very sensitive and had remained a bone of contention for many years.

''The decision to send more force to the area would rather turn Langpih into a battle field which would result in bloodshed and loss of life,'' he said ''We will request the Central government to intervene in this matter. We will also urge the Centre to set up a neutral body to solve the dispute with the Assam government once and for all,'' Mr Lapang added.

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