Joint initiative needed to solve border row: Gamlin

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Itanagar, Sep 11 (UNI) The contentious border dispute with Assam is an inter-state issue and should be tackled by the state governments, Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister Jarbom Gamlin informed the Assembly today.

Replying to a question of Independent MLA Ngurang Pinch during question hour, Mr Gamlin said the state was examining creation of a separate inter-state border department with special focus on Assam-Arunachal boundary and approval for creation of a cell, to be overseen by an under secretary, had been accorded.

''The cell will become functional soon with creation of required manpower,'' he added.

To a supplementary raised by the MLA on whether the state government was taking any action against incidents of harassment of innocent people of the state by Assam forest and police officials, Mr Gamlin said several cases had been registered.

''We have issued several warrants against those officials but the people in Assam do not accept such warrants,'' he said adding, both the state governments should unitedly resolve the decade-old border row and Arunachal could not take a unilateral decision as the matter was sub-judice.

Mr Gamlin, in reply to a written question raised by the MLA, informed that the second hearing of the local boundary commission, scheduled for May 10 and 11, 2007 at Itanagar, could not be held due to administrative reasons. It was held on August 1 last year in Itanagar.

''The local commission already conducted six hearings and would furnish its final report to the Supreme Court on completion of all the hearings,'' he said adding, the commission was constituted to identify the inter-state boundary between Assam and Arunachal after hearing both parties.

The commission, in its meeting held at Guwahati on November 16, 2007, granted time to Arunachal Pradesh till December 18, 2007 for submission of detailed proposal for adjustment. However, the government, on December 26, 2007 submitted a comprehensive proposal for adjustment of areas along the boundary entailing inclusion of 1119.279 sq km of area falling within the notified boundary of Assam in the state of Arunachal, he said.

In the meeting of the commission held on February 2, 2008, Assam applied for four months' time to reply to the proposal sent by Arunachal. The commission, however, granted time till July 3.

After repeated requests by Assam for extension of time for finalising its replies to the proposal submitted, the commission granted it time up to the first week of November this year, the Home Minister added.

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