State Border Disputes: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to initiate a solution to the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute. Chief Minister Shinde has given responsibility to two ministers of the Maharashtra government – Higher Education Minister Chandrakant Patil and State Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai – to coordinate the border dispute matter. Also, the state government has appointed legal expert Vaidyanathan for legal help.
On the other hand, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has also said that he is forming a strong team of lawyers to resolve the border dispute. They are ready to fight this battle in the Supreme Court. According to reports, the government has included former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, Shyam Divan, former Advocate General of Karnataka Uday Hola and Maruti Jirale in its team.
What is Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute
The border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka is not of today but has been going on since independence. The controversy revolves around the city of Belagavi or Belagavi. Belgaum is today a part of Karnataka but before independence it was a part of Bombay Presidency. For this reason, Maharashtra stakes its claim on Belagavi. It has a total area of 7,000 square kilometers, which includes 814 villages. This area has a population of 6.7 lakhs.
In 1956, the States Reorganization Commission made Belgaum and 10 talukas of Bombay Presidency part of the erstwhile Mysore State, which is present-day Karnataka. The state commission gave this area to Mysore on the grounds that there were more than 50 per cent Kannada speaking people there at that time. But experts believe that at that time there were more than 50 percent Marathi speaking people.
To solve this whole matter peacefully, in October 1966, the Government of India constituted the Mahajan Commission, which was headed by Mehrchand Mahajan and presented its report in August 1967. The Mahajan Commission report suggested that 264 villages should be given to Maharashtra and 247 should be left with Karnataka. Karnataka supported the Mahajan Commission report but Maharashtra refused to accept it.
In 2004, the matter reached the Supreme Court and the Court suggested that the issue should be resolved through mutual negotiations and that linguistic criteria should not be considered as it may create more practical problems. However, this matter is still pending in the Supreme Court.
Apart from Maharashtra and Karnataka, there are many states in India which are having border disputes with their neighboring states. Let us know the reasons for the border dispute between those states.
Assam and Mizoram
In 1875 the British drew a boundary line between the Lushai hills (in present-day Mizoram) and the Cachar plains (in present-day Assam). The people of Mizoram accepted this boundary as it was drawn up in consultation with their state heads.
Then, in 1933, a notification demarcating the princely state of Manipur defined all the boundaries of Northeast India. However, Mizoram refused to accept this notification as Mizoram was not consulted in this bifurcation. After which this border became disputed.
The Government of India separated Mizoram from Assam in the year 1972 and gave Mizoram the status of Union Territory first and then in 1987. Both the states now share a 164.6 km long border with each other.
After the separation of Mizoram, both the states keep accusing each other of land grabbing. The central government has made several unsuccessful attempts to end the border dispute between Assam and Mizoram and has also deployed the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the disputed areas to maintain peace. On July 26, 2021, the matter got so bad that firing started on the Assam border from the Mizoram side, in which 5 Assam Police personnel were martyred. Still this controversy remains.
Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
The border dispute between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh started in 1987. Then Arunachal Pradesh was made a new state. Both the states share a border of 804.1 km with each other. Arunachal Pradesh says that after it attained statehood, some land that traditionally belonged to the residents of the state was given to Assam.
The government also appointed a committee to resolve this, which recommended that some areas be transferred from Assam to Arunachal. Assam did not accept this. Presently this matter is under the Supreme Court. However, in a recent meeting of both the states, it was decided that the matter would be resolved through mutual talks.
Assam and Nagaland
In 1866 the British government carved out the Naga Hills district from part of the Assam province. The district remained as a part of Assam till 1957 but when Nagaland attained full statehood in 1963, Nagalang did not accept its boundary.
Nagaland argues that the 16-point agreement in 1960 that led to the creation of Nagaland included restoration of Naga territories. There have been many conflicts between the two states over the border dispute and the matter went to the court. In a high-level meeting held recently, both the states together decided that both the states will find a solution to this border dispute together.
Assam and Meghalaya
The boundary problem between Assam and Meghalaya began when Meghalaya challenged the Assam Reorganization Act in 1971. In this Block I and II of Mikir Hills or the present Karbi Anglong district was given to Assam. Meghalaya argues that both these blocks were part of the erstwhile United Khasi and Jaintia Hills district. It was notified in 1835. At present, the Ministry of Home Affairs has partially settled 6 of the 12 disputed areas along the 885 km border of Assam and Meghalaya.
Haryana and Himachal Pradesh
Parwanoo region always remains in limelight due to border dispute between the states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. It is near Panchkula district of Haryana. And Haryana has laid claim to parts of land in Himachal Pradesh. The central government has said that this matter can be resolved only through mutual talks.
Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh
Between the Leh-Manali highway, there is a very beautiful place named Sarchu but it is a border dispute between the two states. Well Sarchu is in Himachal Pradesh but Ladakh (erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir) also keeps claiming it.
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these states also have border disputes apart from maharashtra and karnataka
Story first published: Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 10:38 [IST]