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Govt irked by Assam claim over Nagaland’s land

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Kohima, August 8: Nagaland Assembly today took strong exception to Assam’s claim of Nagaland’s land despite the border dispute between the two states being sub-judice in Court.
Calling attention motion on matters of urgent public importance during the Zero Hour today, former Home Minister and NPF Legislator, Imkong L. Imchen castigated the Assam Government for raking up the issue when the matter is subjudice by the Court. He rebutted the claim by Assam Government of encroachment by Nagaland.
In total 832.67 sq km of Assam’s land has been encroached by its neighbouring states with Nagaland occupying the largest area of 594.90 sq km till February this year, Assam Assembly was told recently during question hour.
Arunachal Pradesh encroached 213.43 sq km, Meghalaya 14.83 sq km, Mizoram 9.26 sq km followed by Tripura 0.25 sq km, said Border Protection and Development Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary replying to a question by Debabrata Saikia of the Congress. The Assam government has issued strict directions to its inter-state border district deputy commissioners to recover the encroached areas, Patowary said.
To ensure that the recovered areas are not re-occupied, he said, border outposts were set up on the inter-state boundaries and eviction drives were being conducted immediately when illegal constructions were noticed on Assam land from across the border, the minister said.
Two cases filed in the Supreme Court against Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh were continuing since 1988. Border talks were going on with Meghalaya and Mizoram at various levels, the minister added.
Imchen said Nagaland Government in good faith had even suggested for settlement of border dispute outside the Court as the State believe in co-existence with the neighbouring states.
Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio also slammed the Assam Government for raking up the issue when the matter was sub-judice. He appreciated the NPF leader for raising the issue.
“We want to live in harmony and settle the issue amicably,” he added. He said Nagaland Government had not only suggested for settlement outside the Court but the Supreme Court had also set up a mediator group but failed to resolve the issue.
Rio said Nagaland Assembly has not only passed resolution six times on Naga integration but the 16 Point Agreement has clearly mentioned about transferring back of reserved forests and lands which belong to Nagas to Nagaland State. He said all possible measures are being taken to claim back Nagas’ land. (Page News Service)

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