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Assam-Nagaland Border Issue: UNTABA reacts to May 27 incident

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, MAY 28: The United Naga Tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) has rubbished reports that shots were fired at Mariani MLA, Rupjyoti Kurmi when he went to look into allegations that some people from Nagaland had encroached on land along the Assam-Nagaland border on May 27.

In a statement, UNTABA alleged that the May 27 incident was the handiwork of the MLA, who it claimed had crossed the boundary by more than 3 kms and entered the vicinity of Vikuto village well inside Nagaland.
“He forcefully stopped the villagers from continuing their normal cultivation works and destroyed their Areca nut and other crops, while also threatening and abusing the villagers. When the villagers objected to this high-handed behaviour, the armed Assam Police personnel, who were brought by the MLA besides his PSO, started shooting while they were leaving. The villagers fired two shots from a muzzle-loading gun well after the entourage left”, the statement claimed.
Claiming that this is not the first time Rupjyoti Kurmi had deliberately provoked a situation like this in the border areas, the UNTABA alleged that the MLA “has a habit of stirring-up people’s emotions so as to create animosity between the people living peacefully in the border area of the two States”.
The fact that the boundary issue between the two States is still pending in the Supreme Court of India makes the issue sub-judice where the likes of MLA Kurmi have no business to involve themselves in except to further his vested personal interests, it alleged.
Stating that to prevent any untoward incidents in the border areas, there are neutral forces (CRPF) to maintain peace and tranquility based on the ‘Interim Agreement’ of 1979 between the two States, the statement said nobody has the right or power to dictate and instigate and create skirmishes in the border areas.
The UNTABA said news agencies of print, electronic and visual media based in Assam “need to immediately stop the biased, fictitious and vested interest news reporting and issue necessary corrigendum otherwise it will invite legal courses of action”.

The Association demanded immediate investigation on the “high-handed actions” of Rupjyoti Kurmi, MLA, and affix appropriate responsibility so as to prevent such unwarranted incidents. Further, it urged the Government of Nagaland to immediately initiate appropriate steps to review the ‘Interim Agreement’ of 1979 between the two States on the boundary issue.
(Page News Service)