KOHIMA, AUGUST 5: Concerned over the frequent tension over the Assam-Nagaland border issue, the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) today constituted a 10-member select committee to examine all aspects of the Assam-Nagaland border issue.
After thorough deliberation on the Assam-Nagaland border issue, a 3-point resolution, moved by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, was unanimously adopted in the Assembly here.
The House has asked the Committee to submit its report within a period of 3 months.
The Committee is headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio as Convenor, Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and Opposition Leader TR Zeliang, as Co-Convenors with Ministers P Paiwang Konyak and Jacob Zhimomi, Advisor Mhathung Yanthan, MLA Amenba Yaden Member, Rajya Sabha MP from Nagaland KG Kenye and Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi as special invitees and Commissioner, Nagaland, and Secretary i/c of Border Affairs Secretary as Secretary of the Committee.
The House resolved to request the Union Home Minister to ensure maintenance of status quo in letter and in spirit in the disputed area till settlement of the issues.
The NLA also decided that the border issue should be amicably settled outside the court by the two State Governments by involving the local communities from both sides.
Assam doing its own will on border issue: CM Rio
Fully endorsing the Opposition leader and members that almost every agreement between Nagaland and Assam has been to the disadvantage of Naga people, Chief Minister Rio said Nagaland has withdrawn 12 posts after 1972 agreements but Assam did not comply and in fact they have increased the police posts in the Disputed Area Belt.
A total of 53 police stations have been identified in the Assam side established by Assam Government in recent times and also took some unilateral decisions, especially on oil exploration in 27 sites along the disputed area, he said.
“Assam is doing what they want to do and the border issue is very very serious”, Rio said.
However, Rio conveyed happiness that during the recent clash between the two States in Vikuto and Tsurankong border areas, Nagaland and Assam have entered into an agreement on July 31 without any pre-conditions.
In this, he also appreciated Assam Chief Minister Sarma for accepting and upholding the decisions taken during their telephonic conversations and also while meeting the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Meghalaya.
Earlier, Opposition MLA Imkong L Imchen initiating a discussion on matters of urgent public importance pertaining to Nagaland-Assam border in the House said the border issue between Assam and Nagaland has been occurring from time to time while continuous harassment has been meted against the Naga people passing through Assam side.
He also alleged that Himanta Biswa Sarma after becoming the Chief Minister has started flaring up border issues with all the neighbouring North Eastern States almost with the intent of declaring war against the neighbours surrounding Assam.
Imchen also questioned the intention of Assam CM’s announcement to deploy 4000 commandos in all the bordering areas of North Eastern State.
“I don’t think his commandos would be distributing sweets, rashagula, samosa or chicken fries but would engage in something else… This is a direct challenge against all the NE States”, he said.
Assam is the most potential State among the North East but it is acting as a step-brother and has gone little too far, he said.
“We have DoNER Ministry and NEC and therefore Neiphiu Rio, who is also the senior most Chief Minister in the whole North East, should take initiative to call the Chief Ministers of the region, excluding Assam, to discuss how best they can pursue and have NEC and DoNER without Assam”, he said.
The senior politician of the State also stressed on the need for construction of a foothill road from Tizit in Mon district to Khelma in Peren district in the interest of Naga people, which has been blocked by Assam politically, bureaucratically and technically.
He also suggested that a parliamentary delegation may organize and meet the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter so that a special dispensation is given to Nagaland for construction and completion of the Foothill Road in Nagaland.
Imchen also suggested that a Cabinet sub-committee be constituted to go into the details of the documents and review all the agreements entered with Assam from 1972 till July 31, 2021.
Advisor for Border Affairs Mhathung Yanthan said Nagas’ claim is based on historical and traditional boundary.
The State of Assam claims the boundary between Assam and Nagaland based on the 1925 Boundary Line Notification while claiming it as “Constitutional Boundary”, he said.
This has been strongly contested by the Nagas, he said.
Nagaland claims all the areas of forests (22 Reserved Forests) and 41 Tea Estates covering an approximate area of 13,000 Sq. Km, which were transferred to neighbouring districts of Assam from the erstwhile Naga Hills District through various notifications by the then British Government, he said.
Out of the 22 RFs, only 10 RFs, which are located along Assam-Nagaland boundary, falls under Disputed Area Belt (in short DAB), covering an approx area of 1,484 Sq. Km, which constitutes about 11% of the claimed area (from 13,000 sq. km).
Based on the 16-Point Agreement, Nagaland State was created under the Union of India without boundary demarcation but with assurance that Inter-State boundary demarcation shall be undertaken in accordance to the Constitutional Provision of Articles 3, 4 in due course of time, which could not be taken up till date, said Yanthan while adding that this is the crux of the entire problem.
(Page News Service)