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Tags Current Affairs

Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border dispute

Date: 03 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Fresh tensions were reported at the border between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, just days after the Chief Ministers of the two states met to permanently resolve the border issue.

 

Background

The border dispute between the two north-eastern states is not something new and exists since the colonial times.

 

Details

The flashpoint for the latest confrontation was the Likabali-Durpai road construction under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

 

Historical developments

  • Arunachal Pradesh shares 804.1 km with the state of Assam. It was part of Assam and border disputes have been occurring since many years.

  • The British first divided the area by demarcating an imaginary boundary between plains and the frontier hills, which was called as the North East Frontier Tracts (now Arunachal Pradesh).

  • The government of Assam gained control over North East Frontier Tracts after independence. It came to be known as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) in 1954.

  • The NEFA was designated a Union Territory in 1972 and gained statehood in 1987.

 

Dispute origin

  • Before carving out the new state, the sub-committee headed by then Assam Chief Minister Gopinath Bordoloi made some recommendations.

  • Plain areas from Balipara and Sadiya foothills were transferred from Arunachal (then NEFA) to Assam’s Darrang and Lakhimpur districts.

 

The protests

  • Arunachal Pradesh alleges that the transfer was done without the consultation of its people. This has remained the bone of contention.

  • Several tribal leaders say that original tribal inhabitants have customary rights over these areas as they used to pay taxes to Ahom rulers.

 

Efforts to demarcate boundary

  • Most of the boundary along the north bank was demarcated but the rest could not as Arunachal Pradesh refused to accept the boundary.

  • A local boundary commission was set up in 2006, which suggested that some part of the disputed area be given back to Arunachal Pradesh.

 

Way ahead

  • The Chief Minister of Assam has been proactive in resolving the state’s boundary disputes with neighboring states including Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram.

  • The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam recently met to ensure that a fast resolution is reached.

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