Recently India has seen an increase in interstate border disputes among the states. The interstate dispute in India is been a long-standing problem whose roots go back to the British colonial period. The clashes among the interstate border have resulted in a loss of lives, properties, and livelihood in the affected area. The dispute in cases has also become a question of security and integrity of India as conflict leads to the large separatist movement. While the approach of government varied from time to time on the border issue the results must need to be found soon.
Haryana Himachal Pradesh:
In the Parwanoo region, there was a border dispute between the two states. It borders the Panchkula district of Haryana and the state claims part of the land of Himachal Pradesh.
Ladakh- Himachal Pradesh:
Himachal and Ladakh both claim Sarchu, a region on the route between Leh and Manali. Sarchu is located between the Rahul and Spiti districts of Himachal and the Leh district of Ladakh.
ARUNACHAL PRADESH AND ASSAM:
Arunachal complains that Assam unilaterally received several forested tracts in the plains that had historically belonged to hill tribal chiefs and communities during the reorganization of the North Eastern states. A tripartite committee was established following the statehood of Arunachal Pradesh in 1987, and it made recommendations for the transfer of some Assamese territories to Arunachal Pradesh. The Supreme Court is currently hearing Assam’s appeal of this.
Assam was given blocks I and II of Mikil Hills, or the current Calvi Angron district, when Meghalaya contested the Assam Reorganization Act of 1971., the issue between the two states arose. According to Meghalaya, when the district was declared in 1835, both of these blocks were a part of the former United Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts. There are now 12 places of contention along the 733-kilometer boundary between Assam and Meghalaya. Meghalaya bases its argument on survey maps from 1872 and 1929, as well as some notifications from 1878 and 1951, while Assam wants to follow the Church and Committee’s recommendations, which Meghalaya has rejected. The chief ministers of the two states will get together again on August 6 in Guwahati to discuss ways to settle the dispute after jointly surveying some of the disputed border segments.
ASSAM AND MIZORAM:
Mizoram break down from Assam and was made union territory in 1972 and further given the status of a full state in the year of 1987. The border between the two states is 164.4 Km. The North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act of 1971, which is based on Notification No. 2106 AP of 9 March 1933, establishes the border between the two states. When Mizoram objected to Assam’s attempt to expand its jurisdiction over the Reserve Forests, the first significant border dispute between the two states emerged in 1994. Large-scale altercations took place between them in 2006, 2018, 2020, and most recently in 2021. The disagreement between Assam and Mizoram is the result of Mizoram’s refusal to recognize the current boundary with Assam as announced in 1933, saying that the British forced them to make the choice. Mizoram contends that the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873’s 1875 notification description of the Inner Line Reserved Forest should serve as the foundation for drawing the border. Mizoram has a total claim to 819.15 sq. km. of Assam’s wooded land. The Assam government claims that the Inner Line, which was only supposed to serve as a line limiting the administrative reach of the Assam government and was never intended to serve as a boundary between Cachar and Lushai Hills, was stated in the 1875 proclamation.
MAHARASTRA AND KARNATAKA :
At the time of independence, Belagavi was the Bombay Presidency’s territory. India’s Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi was founded in 1948 with the primary goal of promoting Belgaum’s fusion with the state of Maharashtra. Nevertheless, following the reorganization of states based on linguistics, the region was incorporated with the state of Mysore (now Karnataka). While rejecting the state’s claims over Belagavi city, the Mahajan Commission, which the Indian government established in 1966, stated that 200 border villages might be united with Maharashtra. Governments in Karnataka have endorsed the Mahajan Commission’s findings in many decisions. The main argument put out by pro-Marathi organizations is that because Belagavi is a predominantly Marathi-speaking province, with certain areas speaking only Marathi, it belongs to Maharashtra rather than Karnataka. The pro-Marathi groups disagree, claiming that the proportion of Marathi speakers in the Belagavi district is only about 35 percent, about equal to the proportion of Kannada speakers. Unrest has returned to the Belagavi region of Karnataka as a result of Maharashtra authorities’ recent claims on the state’s Marathi-speaking areas, including Belagavi. This unresolved interstate dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra dates back to the period of Independence and the reorganization of states on linguistic lines in 1956. All parties are involved in the conflict since the language problem has political repercussions beyond Belagavi in both Karnataka and Maharashtra. The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV), a pro-Kannada group with no other political foundation, has the tacit backing of every political party in Karnataka while on the other hand, Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi has also backing of Shiv Sena.
Why still the interstate dispute is unsolved?
Reorganization of the state on basis of Language
Many believe the root cause of interstate border disputes is state reorganization based on language
Old British maps have no clear and distinct boundaries. They rarely acknowledge the socio-cultural limitations.
Difficult and harsh Geography
The complexity of geographical terrain like hills, rivers, and forests in places can’t be marked. The British also left many areas unexplored and left the indigenous community left alone.
Political ignorance of many areas especially of Eastern states has also led to the creation and continuation of various border disputes among the states.
How a dispute can be resolved?
- Through positive dialogue between the concerned state.
- Mediation by the center keeps both states in a loop.
- Appointment of committees for demarcating borders.
- Settling dispute in Supreme Court.
The speedy resolution of the Border dispute is necessary. The resolution of the border issue will lead to improvement of connectivity, livelihood, job opportunity, and business opportunity in and around the state. Further, the solution will lead to assurance of the internal security of India. Every state must pay heed to this and must try to solve their border dispute for the development and secure future of their state and India.
Author(s) Name: Aditya Raj (Bharti Vidyapeeth New Law College, Pune)