Solution to border row would dispel many problems: Gamlin

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Itanagar, Sep 4 (UNI) Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister Jarbom Gamlin has contended that an early solution to the contentious border dispute between his state and Assam could solve many problems confronting both the states.

Interacting with local scribes as well as visiting mediapersons from Assam here yesterday, Mr Gamlin said in 1947, Arunachal Pradesh, then a North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), was considered an uninhabited land that stretched far beyond the state's present territory.

''The Bordoloi Commission drew the boundary line in 1951 without even a spot inspection, the logic being 'hills are Arunachal and plains are Assam' which was never actually implemented,'' he said.

''People have been living for ages in the areas now being claimed by Assam as its territory. In the same manner, Arunachal could claim the whole of NEFA territory, but it would not solve the problem,'' he reasoned.

''The Boundary Commission is conducting a session to hear both the states and find an acceptable solution, which could be possible with a give-and-take principle,'' the minister advocated.

He suggested that a joint team of mediapersons from both the states, sponsored by both the governments, could visit areas from Kameng to Tirap districts to see the ground reality for themselves.

''We don't want to suffer and neither do we want Assam to suffer,'' he added.

The 19-member team from Assam was on a four-day goodwill mission to the state capital to get first-hand information about the cultural, economic and social aspects, besides the problem of border dispute through interaction with the local people and mediapersons.

On Tuesday, the team interacted with various people from border villages along with Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bidol Tayeng and Doimukh MLA Ngurang Pinch.

Some of the villagers living along the inter-state boundary alleged that the Assam police and forest officials had repeatedly committed atrocities on the Arunachalees on the pretext of ''disputed land''.

During the interaction with the visiting journalists, the DC said while his counterpart in Assam's Lakhimpur district was showing a positive attitude, his Sonitpur counterpart was ''behaving like a general of a hostile country.'' ''Given the genesis of the decades-old problem, the Ahom King and Dafla Raja, in 1934, had demarcated Rajgar Ali as the traditional boundary between their territories,'' the MLA said.

''Evictions are carried out repeatedly without any intimation to the Arunachal government in violation to the status quo agreements signed between the Chief Ministers of both the states, causing untold sufferings to the poor and innocent villagers as they are being assaulted and their valuables, livestock and crops looted,'' Mr Pinch lamented.

''Sometimes the tormentors also raid areas in Arunachal on the pretext of destroying ULFA camps,'' he added.

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