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Disputed land should be returned to Arunachal, says panel report

The commission changed heads and is currently being headed by retired High Court judge Tarun Chatterjee.

A Three-member  commission appointed by the Supreme Court to resolve the border dispute between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in its report submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recently has said that around 70-80 per cent of the disputed land around the inter-state boundary should be given back to Arunachal Pradesh.

The committee’s 110-page report will be examined by the Supreme Court now. The boundary dispute between the two states has led to violent clashes and protests in the two states, the latest being the killing of 10 people inside the Behali reserved forest in Sonitpur district in Assam.

To resolve the dispute between the two states, the apex court had appointed a local boundary commission in 2006. The commission changed heads and is currently being headed by retired High Court judge Tarun Chatterjee. The other two members are M Kamal Naidu, a retired Indian Forest Service officer, andS K Goel, additional surveyor general of India.

Naidu told The Indian Express, “During our various visits to the disputed areas we found that the demand of Arunachal Pradesh was justified. Arunachal is asking for a fraction of the area transferred to Assam in 1951 to be restored to them.”  He added there were people from Arunachal region who were living in Assam and their presence has never recognised by the two states. “The two states had jointly conducted a survey of the boundary area as well, the report is yet to come out. We submitted our report based on socio-economic conditions and the actual status on ground. The demarcation will have to be done by the two states only,” said Naidu.

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Based on the Bordoloi committee report in 1951, around 30,000 sq km of land was transferred from Arunachal to Assam.
Justice Chatterjee said the report has been submitted to the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Home Affairs will now have to act on it.

“The border was never demarcated in the past, it was done on the whims of the British. In our report, we have not tried to define the boundary but have tried to arrive at a decision based on the reality after talking to the people. We visited around 12 such villages over last couple of months to arrive at a decision,” said Naidu.

First published on: 01-02-2014 at 01:52:51 am
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