KOHIMA, SEPTEMBER 14: Nagaland Government desires to have an amicable out-of-court solution of the long pending border dispute with the Assam Government through a border commission and discussion among the indigenous inhabitants of the two States in the border areas.
The proposal was made during the first meeting of the Nagaland Assembly Select Committee to examine the Nagaland-Assam border issue constituted during the monsoon session of the State Assembly on August 5 last.
The Assembly Select Committee is headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio as Convenor, Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and former CM TR Zeliang as Co-Convenors with Ministers P Paiwang Konyak and Jacob Zhimomi, Advisor Mhathung Yanthan and NPF MLA Amenba Yaden as members, Rajya Sabha MP from Nagaland KG Kenye and Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi as special invitee and Commissioner Nagaland and Secretary in-charge of Border Affairs Rovilatuo Mor as Secretary of the committee.
The Committee needs to submit its report to the Assembly within 3 months from the date of formation.
Today’s meeting was only an ice-breaking meeting after constitution of the Assembly Select Committee, wherein discussions were held on the background and genesis of the border problem with Assam so as to understand the entire issue better, Advisor for Horticulture and Border Affairs Mhathung Yanthan told reporters coming out of the meeting.
“The border dispute lies in the Supreme Court and it is sub judice but we (Nagaland) are for settlement of the issue out-of-court”, Advisor for Border affairs Mhathung Yanthan told Reporters after coming out of the meeting.
“We have had discussions on the background and genesis of the problem to understand the entire issue better”, he said.
He said that the varied suggestions and opinions were made by the members while also stressing on the need to have regular meetings before meeting the Assam Government for amicable settlement of the issue.
For this, the Department of Border Affairs has been entrusted to work out the modalities to settle the border problem by having proper discussion with the Assam Government out-of-court, he said.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is also Convener of the Select Committee, said that considering the ongoing oil exploration and mining activities in the border areas, the Assembly Select Committee has decided to increase the number by including officials of the Geology and Mining Department.
He also said that Lok Sabha MP Tohekho Yepthomi had raised some questions in Parliament on Nagaland-Assam Border through which the Select Committee has now got some information with regard to Nagaland-Assam border.
Court can’t demarcate State boundary: Zeliang
Co-Convener Former of the Committee and Leader of Naga People’s Front Legislature Party TR Zeliang said that the committee meeting discussed elaborately on past failures for an amicable settlement between Assam and Nagaland Governments.
In the past, Assam Government has always been depending on the court and did not want an amicable settlement, while another problem is though there is no interim order from Supreme Court and the case is still pending, he said.
The Court cannot demarcate the boundary line while problems continue on the ground, he said.
Nagaland Government has been attempting to settle the border dispute amicably with the involvement of the Home Ministry even in 2014 and 2015 (during his chief ministership) but the then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was not friendly with the Nagas, he said.
Nonetheless, the present Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has friendly relationship with the Nagaland Government and with that we believe that both the States can come together to discuss the matter and settle it amicably, he said.
He also informed that today’s meeting decided that both States should form local bodies consisting of indigenous people to sit together on the advice of the State Governments.
On reviewing the interim agreements signed in the past, Zeliang said the meeting decided to propose to bring in a neutral person in the form of Union Home Minister or Prime Minister to review the past interim agreements, which were found to be “one-sided”.
“We hope to have a concrete decision between the two States soon”, he said.
(Page News Service)