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Concerned State : Arunachal Pradesh
Concerned Department : Government of Arunachal Pradesh
Document Category : Others
Document Title : Arunachal - Assam to solve Boundary Issue
Date of Publish : 06 / 06 / 2013
Details : Denying the accusation that the state Government was not doing enough to resolve the boundary disputes with Assam, the Govt. in a press statement on 5 June 2013 claimed that the Chief Minister, since he took over the reign of the state, has been constantly pursuing with both Assam and Central Governments to end the tension along the boundary with a permanent solution and to maintain status-quo till such a solution is arrived at.
Explaining in details the initiatives being taken by the state government to resolve the boundary issue at the earliest, Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Bamang Tago in a press statement said that the historical, geographical, political and now legal complexities of the issue have slowed down the process despite sincere and honest efforts put in by officials of the State Government.
To understand and acknowledge the complexity of the issue and the stand of the State Government one needs to have a fair idea of the intricacies leading to the present situation, he said. "The genesis of present boundary dispute between Arunachal and Assam stemmed from the notification that excluded certain plain areas (approx 3648 sq kms) from the existing Balipara Frontier Tract, Abor Hill District,
Mishmi Hill District and Tirap Frontier Tract from the North Eastern Frontier Tracts notified in 1951 by the Governor of Assam, who administered the said areas under Section 92 of the Government of India Act, 1935. In 1954, these two Tracts and two Districts, minus the excluded plain areas, along with the Naga Tribal Areas were renamed collectively as North East Frontier Agencies (NEFA) which comprised of Balipara Frontier Tract (Kameng Frontier Division, Subansiri Frontier Division), Abor Hills District (Siang Frontier Division), Mishmi Hills District (Lohit Frontier Division), Tirap Frontier Tract (Tirap Frontier Division), Naga Tribal Areas (Tuensang Frontier Division). Tuensang Frontier Division was excluded from NEFA in 1957 and included in Naga Hills that form the state of recent Nagaland."
The Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh was formed on January 20, 1972 with the aforementioned Tracts and Districts excluding Tuensang, under Section 7 of the North Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act, 1971.
The fact remained that the tribal areas in the plains excluded by the notification of February 23, 1951 still remained excluded from Arunachal Pradesh. Later, the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged State on February 20, 1987, it said.
The Survey of India which was entrusted to demarcate a boundary in 1969 completed the ground demarcation of 270.5 kms (actual boundary length is approx 716 kms) from the tri-junction of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan to the Subansiri River during 1971-73. However, subsequent demarcation could not materialize after disputes arose in some portions of the un-demarcated areas as well as in portions already demarcated, the statement informed.
A high level meeting was held on January 11, 1976 at Itanagar between the Chief Minister and Home Minister of Assam and the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh to review the demarcation and other allied matters, where it is was decided that before boundary pillars were erected in problem sectors, a Joint Study Team consisting representatives of Revenue Settlement and Forest Department of Assam and Deputy Commissioners of Arunachal Pradesh to study jointly all aspects of impacts on human population affected by the 1951 Notification. It was also decided that pending the study, no eviction should be undertaken from either side and that status-quo should be maintained.
It further informed that a High Powered Tripartite Committee was constituted on July 7, 1979 with representatives of the Union Government, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to carry out demarcation of the boundary between the two states in two stages viz: a) Delineation of the boundary according to existing notifications on the map which will be then referred to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh for acceptance with mutually agreed adjustments as may be necessary and b) Survey on the ground and demarcation with pillars, the statement said.
The Committee clearly provided that there would be a delineation of the boundary according to existing notifications on the map alone. Then the map would be referred to the two governments for acceptance with mutually agreed adjustments. This meant that delineation on the map itself does not in any manner constitute the acceptable boundary between the two states. The acceptance would arise only after mutually agreed adjustments as may be necessary, it said.
The High Power Tripartite Committee held five meeting from August, 1979 to October, 1980. Three sets of maps (each set of 29 maps) with the boundary delineated on them was signed on October 29, 1980 by the representatives of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and the Convenor of the Committee. The maps were referred to Assam and Arunachal for acceptance with mutually agreed adjustments to take further steps for survey on the ground for demarcation.
The 'mutually agreed adjustments' referred by the Committee was envisaged to take care of the actual position on the ground. Arunachal Pradesh Government in fact has never accepted the boundaries depicted in the 29 maps as the correct and accepted boundary between the two states.
After the delineation process, the statement said, Arunachal Pradesh Government selected 25 members from amongst the public leaders in consultation with the deputy commissioners for obtaining their views on boundary demarcation. The Arunachal Pradesh members of the Tripartite Committee also visited the districts and held meetings with the public along with the selected members of the respective districts.
After careful consideration of all aspects and also taking into consideration the views expressed by different district committees, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh submitted its proposal in 1983 for inclusion within Arunachal Pradesh the transferred areas from the then North East Frontier Tracts to Assam vide Notification in February, 1951. This proposal was as per the 'mutually agreed adjustments' as provided by the Tripartite Committee.
"As there was no response from the Assam Government, Arunachal Pradesh resubmitted the proposal on March 16, 1989 along with detailed explanation of the basis of claims for adjustments of areas along the inter-state boundary."
"Instead of considering and responding to the proposal of Arunachal Pradesh for settlement of boundary after adjustments, the Government of Assam filed Original Suit No.1 of 1989 before the Supreme Court seeking demarcation of boundary on basis of Section 7 of the North Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act, 1971, which in fact excluded tribal areas given to Assam by the 1951 Notification from the territory of Arunachal Pradesh."
Arunachal Pradesh filed its written statement to the Suit on April 19, 1999 and claimed that the areas which should constitute the boundary of Arunachal Pradesh should include all the areas that constituted the then North East Frontier Tracts.
It also submitted that the notification dated 23.02.1951 excluding the plain areas of North Eastern Frontier Tracts and defining the boundary of present Arunachal Pradesh in accordance of the Notification of 1951 was done without consulting the people of Arunachal Pradesh and is not acceptable.
"On 25.09.2006 the Supreme Court appointed the Local Commission with a former Judge of the Court as the Chairperson to be assisted by two other Members with specific direction that the Local Commission shall identify the boundaries between Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Court also clarified that the Local Commission is not the Boundary Commission postulated by the Constitution of India and that factual and legal objections are kept open for the parties to be urged and agitated after the receipt of the report from the Commission.
A meeting was held between the Local Commission and Arunachal Government on August 1, 2007 at Itanagar during which the state government submitted that it would make a proposal once again to the Assam Government for adjustments in the boundary taking into consideration the ground reality.
Even though the Assam Government has objected to the proposal, the Local Commission directed Arunachal Pradesh to indicate, in detail, its proposal. Subsequently on 26.12.2007 the state government submitted its proposal, which is on record with the Local Commission.
As per the proposal the state government sought inclusion of an area of 1119.279 sqkm within its territory based on historical records, old usages and practices as well as physical occupation and administrative control of these areas by the state of Arunachal Pradesh all along the inter-state boundary.
On 7.2.2009 Assam filed its reply rejecting the proposal for adjustment of boundary as proposed by Arunachal Pradesh. The Local Commission heard the representatives of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh at New Delhi on 23.1.2012 and proposed to have a meeting with Chief Ministers of both the states.
The Commission also directed both the states to jointly coordinate problematic areas to be visited by its members. However, the meeting as well as the proposed visit to disturbed areas by the Local Commission did not materialize due to various factors.
In 2013, a proposal came in for visit of the Local Commission to the problematic areas along the inter-state boundary from May 23 to 26, 2013, which too did not materialize.
Meanwhile, the Government of Assam suggested the names of Bhalukpong, Kimin, Gumto and Gerukamukh for visit of the Local Commission while Arunachal Pradesh submitted that the Commission visit Tarasso, Likabali, Nari and Russa in addition to those proposed earlier.
The statement said that there have been several indecent misadventures by Assam Police and Assam Forest officials despite the existing agreement for maintaining status quo between the two governments till the Local Commission came out with its report and a mutually agreed solution to boundary demarcation is arrived at.
The Government officials at the top are in constant touch with their counterparts in Assam to avoid any untoward incident or trigger tension along the inter-state boundary. The present Chief Minister personally has written letters to his counterpart in Assam, who has also positively responded to cooperate in maintaining peace and tranquility along the boundary, it said.
"The whole issue is subjudice in Supreme Court and hence the State Government is maintaining all formalities, after all Assam and Arunachal are federal units of one country," "Blowing it out of proportion may hamper the State's stand on its territorial jurisdiction, which is now in record with the Local Commission.
The issue is a major concern not only for the inhabitants but also the Government, which is doing its best for an early solution, the statement said and appealed people to understand the ground situation.
It claimed that once the Local Commission visits the areas of dispute and interacts with local residents, it would become clear why the Government has made the proposal for inclusion of the tribal areas in plains, which were excluded in the 1951 Notification."
"Once the Local Commission's report is submitted, the State Government believes that the Supreme Court will give a decision in favour of Arunachal's stand and end the long-pending problem of the inter-state boundary row," the statement added.
 
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