Guwahati, Feb 5: West Gauhati constituency MLA, Ramendra Narayan Kalita has claimed that “no satra (Vaishnavite monastery) or naamghar (prayer hall) in disputed Bakhlapara area on Assam-Meghalaya boundary will be given away to Meghalaya” under the ‘give-and-take’ mechanism of boundary dispute resolution between Assam and Meghalaya.
Kalitahas countered the allegation by the Asom Satra Mahasabha (ASM) that “two satras and 20 naamghars might be given away to Meghalaya as a consequence of the mutual understanding between the state governments to resolve the boundary dispute.
Bakhlapara in West Gauhati constituency of Kamrup district, is one of the six areas of difference between the two states.
According to reports, out of the 1.57 sq km disputed area in Bakhlapara, 1.01 sq km will be a part of Assam, while the remaining 0.56 sq km will go to Meghalaya.
“Though a portion of Bakhlapara will be left to the neighbouring state, there is no existence of satras and naamghars in the said area. Rather, there is a church located in the area. Therefore, there is no question of leaving any satra and naamghar to Meghalaya,” the MLA said.
He further said that “though there is a satra each in Mateikhar, Longsai and Umsur, these areas are not proposed to be merged with the neighbouring state.”
Kalita has also appealed to the “ASM not to make any such statement which might adversely affect the religious sentiments of the Assamese people as well as those living on the Assam-Meghalaya border since time immemorial.”
Meanwhile, Countering the six-time legislator, Asom Satra Mahasabha general secretary Kusum Kumar Mahanta said that ASM has not issued any statement that might hurt relations between the people of the two states.
“We have only requested the Assam government to keep the satras and naamghars within Assam’s territory so as to protect the interests of Vaishnavite communities along the border," he clarified.