Shillong, Mar 24 (IANS): The Meghalaya government on Friday reconstituted the three regional committees headed by ministers to examine the present status of the remaining six disputed areas with Assam in the state's West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, and West Jaintia Hills districts.
Officials said that the committees would submit their reports to the Meghalaya government within 45 days after visiting the inter-state border villages and study the differences based on the agreed yardsticks of historical perspective, ethnicity of the local population, administrative convenience of local people, contiguity with the boundary, and the perception of the people living in the area.
The Ri Bhoi District Committee would be headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, while the West Khasi Hills district Committee would be headed by Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh, and West Jaintia Hills district committee would be led by Urban Affairs Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar.
Talks on inter-state border disputes have suffered a setback since last year's November 22 firing incident, which left six persons dead.
The ruling National People's Party and its ally BJP, in their election manifestos for the February 27 Meghalaya polls, promised to solve the border dispute with Assam and establish permanent outposts to promote safety, security, and rule of law.
With two MLAs, the BJP is a part of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government led by the NPP, headed by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma.
The Supreme Court had put on hold the Meghalaya High Court's order staying the MoU signed by the Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya on the border dispute. The High Court on December 8 last year, on a petition by four citizens of Meghalaya, passed an order staying physical demarcation or erection of boundary posts on the ground, pursuant to the MoU signed on March 29 last year.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah by Meghalaya Chief Minister Sangma and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma, "resolving" six of the 12 disputed areas along the two states in the first phase.