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Northeast tribals want state border issue resolved in upcoming polls

March 29, 2011 - Garbhanga (Assam)

The Rabha tribes residing along the border of Assam and Meghalaya want the border conflict issues along the state boundaries to be resolved in the upcoming state assembly polls.

People living along this area have always been affected by clashes and encroachment along the border and they want the problem to be addressed.

According to the villagers, encroaching on agricultural land by the people from the Meghalaya side had been creating the clashes.

"We face problems from the people of Meghalaya. They come and cut our trees and take away our grass. The border is confusing. They first tried to encroach on our grasslands. But we did not allow them to burn off the grass for that purpose. Their men often enter our property and commit robberies," said Mohan Singh Tamang.

Tamang also said that the villages in the area have no proper roads, electricity and drinking water facilities, and the politicians do nothing to address these problems.

"The government should resolve the problems we are facing along the border. We need it immediately. Otherwise people from across the border will encroach upon our lands and we will be at a loss. The government should demarcate the border properly for our benefit," said Uttaran.

Tensions had erupted on a high scale in January when huge clashes between the Rabha tribe of Assam and the Garo tribe of Meghalaya took place along the border which left about 30,000 people homeless.

Assam will hold two-phase elections in which 62 constituencies will go to polls on April 4 and 11.

In all, 23,813 polling booths have been set up for 18 million voters to exercise their franchise.


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