SHILLONG: The recent clash in the border village of Lapangap, West Jaintia Hills district, is set to be a key discussion point in the border talks between Assam and Meghalaya on Saturday.
Informing that on Friday, Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Sniawbhalang Dhar, assured that while the situation in Lapangap is currently stable, the state government is closely monitoring the events leading up to tomorrow’s Chieh Ministerial-level talks.
“Tomorrow, we will finalise what action the government will take. Additional forces have been deployed at the moment, and we are waiting for a report from the DC,” he said. Reportedly, the meeting will be held at State Guest House, Khanapara, Assam.
Admitting that Lapangap is not a recognised area of difference between Assam and Meghalaya, Dhar said that of late, “it has become a hotspot for conflict.”
On September 28, officials from Meghalaya and Assam convened for a crucial meeting at the deputy commissioner (DC) level to address the escalating tensions in village. Representing Meghalaya were West Jaiñtia Hills DC BS Sohliya and SP C Syrti, while the Assam side was headed by West Karbi Anglong DC Krishna Baruah and SP I Barua.
Tensions had mounted in the area when a large group of Karbi individuals allegedly attacked Pnar farmers with bows and arrows on September 26. The incident quickly spiralled into a day-long clash between the two communities as additional villagers were drawn into the confrontation.
In past few months, Lapangap and neighbouring areas have witnessed heightened tensions due to recurring confrontations between the Jaintia (Pnar) and Karbi communities.
This recent outbreak of violence adds urgency to the ongoing efforts to resolve the vexed border issue between the states. In a recent informal meet following the inauguration of a Karbi Hemtum in Shillong on September 13, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Meghalaya’s Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had “informally” deliberated on key issues surrounding the border dispute.