Arunachal’s interest should not be compromised

In a major announcement by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday, he was hopeful of “some resolution” to the longstanding boundary disputes with Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya this year. He further claimed that the disputes with Arunachal were “almost resolved” in 1987, but some technical issues kept the final settlement pending.

Assam and Arunachal share an 804.1-km boundary and there are 1,200 points of dispute. Sarma’s announcement is massive considering the fact that the Assam-Arunachal boundary is one of the oldest and most serious boundary disputes of the North East region.

The constant clashes along the boundary have led to the loss of lives on both sides. It has further deteriorated the relationship between the two states. So far there has been no reaction to the unilateral announcement of the Assam CM from the Arunachal side.

In recent months, chief ministers of both states have made their intentions clear and said that an out-of-court settlement will be worked out. The boundary dispute is currently pending at the Supreme Court of India. The announcement of the Assam CM seems to be on a similar line.

It is good that both the states are working to resolve the boundary disputes at the earliest. However, the government of Arunachal should be cautious. Assam always tries to impose its decisions and acts as a big brother. The interest of Arunachal should not be compromised at any cost. The state has already lost a major chunk of land to Assam, which has illegally captured those lands.