Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Diphu August 6: A joint border coordination meeting was just held between  Assam and Meghalaya. On Wednesday last week,  the people of Jatalong and Saboda locality of West Karbi Anglong autonomous district   aggressively pushed back against West Jaintia Hills District officials.  That pushback resulted in both Assam and Meghalaya governments taking up  a more relaxed tone, in an attempt  to resolve the susceptive border issue in a more sensitive manner. The people wanted them to  discard the overbearing frame of mind they had each taken in the past.

Joint Border Coordination Meeting

Both West Jaintia Hills district administration and West Karbi Anglong district autonomous district administration officials arrived at the conference hall in Hamren circuit house, to hold official discussions. Hamren is the headquarter town of West Karbi Anglong autonomous district.

Hamren Police informed people through their official twitter account that “a joint border coordination meeting was held today between the DCs-SsP of West Karbi Anglong district and West Jaintia Hills District in Hamren, West Karbi Anglong with a view for coordination on border issues.”

High-Level Delegations

Both administrations were represented by Deputy Commissioner ranked officers and the district’s top police officer, assisted by officials of several line departments responsible for administering land, borders and forests.

The people realised a winning position after a fruitful discussion between the parties resulted in both sides agreeing to cease all developmental works in the undecided border neighborhoods. They agreed to maintain  a “status quo ante state” until a logical conclusion of the contentious issue is agreed upon by both states.

Pushback Against Bogus Survey

In related news on the same day, the local unit of Karbi Students’ Association and several civil organizations  from the Block two zone of West Karbi Anglong district successfully prevented a team of Meghalaya government officials from conducting a land survey in the Sabuda region along the Assam-Meghalaya border.

In the standoff between the local people and  Meghalaya police and government officials, the locals successfully blocked the road at Jatalong.  This was where Meghalaya police and Meghalaya government officials came in large numbers to try to carry out a land evaluation prior to the joint border coordination meeting.

Future Discussions Needed

Blocks one and two of West Karbi Anglong district have been a contested area between the two states for the past decade.  Previous bilateral discussions  at various  levels between the states have failed to resolve the issue. There appears to be at least a chance that this time it will be different, since the people now seem to be engaged enough to push the issue along. Further discussions are expected soon.

Joint Border Coordination Meeting held at circuit house hamren. youtube screenshot.
Joint Border Coordination Meeting held at Circuit House Hamren. youtube screenshot.