Dimapur, January 5: The United Naga Tribes Association of Border Areas (UNTABA) has termed as “nothing but stupid and ignorant” the appeal made by State MLA and Advisor, Border Affairs to villagers in the border areas to maintain peace.
Advisor, Border Affairs, Mhathung Yanthan while visiting Indisen and Rilan villages in the Assam-Nagaland border on Friday had urged villagers to maintain cordial relationship with the Assam police, forest department and public in order to live in peace and harmony. The Advisor had gone to the two villages to take stock of the ground realities of the border problems faced by villages in border areas.
“The United Naga Tribes Association of Border Areas (UNTABA) is appalled by the news report on the visit to the border areas in Indisen and Rilan areas by the Honorable MLA and Advisor, Border Affairs, Government of Nagaland requesting the villagers in the border areas to maintain peace. It is nothing but stupid and ignorant,” said UNTABA chairman Hukavi T Yeputhomi and general secretary Imsumongba Pongen in a statement.
Reminding that in the entire country of India, Nagaland, the 16th State under the Union of India is the only State that has no clear cut boundary demarcation till date, UNTABA claimed that the present intricacies in and around Indisen and Rilan villages is nothing but the undoing of the Government of Nagaland.
UNTABA said starting from the chief ministership of P Shilu Ao in the 60s and Dr Hokshe Sema in the early 70s, the Government of Nagaland had initiated appropriate steps demanding the implementation of the 16th Point Agreement Point 12 and 13 which resulted in the formation of Sundaram Commission that submitted its findings in 1971 basing on which an “Interim Agreement” between the Government of Nagaland and Assam in 1973 was signed.
It said the basic idea of this agreement was identifying the historical, geographical and political rights of the Naga people and in accordance to this the Government of India and Assam had agreed that the State of Nagaland does not have a definite boundary demarcation till date which prompted the Government of Assam to file a civil suit against the Ministry of Home Affairs, Chief Election Commission of India and the Government of Nagaland in 1988 called “Civil Suit No. 2 of 1988” in the Supreme Court of India, which means the boundary issue between Assam and Nagaland is sub-judiced as of now.
On the recent happenings in and around Indisen and Rilan villages, UNTABA said it is a known fact that the Department of Forest, Government of Assam had been trying to erect Reserved Forests Posts by its own self without inviting the Forest Department of Government of Nagaland. “Any pillar or post that maybe erected by the Department of Forest of Assam can never be the boundary line between the two States until and unless the Government of Assam implement the Interim Agreement of 1973 and 1979.”
“While as a plaintiff, the Government of Nagaland has been consistently insisting that 4,974.16 Square Miles or an equivalent of 12, 883.07 Square Kilometres is still lying under the illegal occupation of Assam, it is very unfortunate for the Advisor of the Border Affairs to be saying that the villagers should maintain peace and tranquillity instead of insisting on the Naga people’s rights over their land,” it stated.
The UNTABA said it has a clear cut perspective on the issue basing on which it had multiple interactions with the successive Government of Nagaland and the Government of India including the Interlocutor and the Governor of Nagaland and the entities who are undergoing the negotiations with the Government of India.
“It is a fact that there is no country, state, nation, constitution and flag without definite border demarcation. Therefore, how can any authority have a say on the things that is not supposed to?” it asked.
The UNTABA strongly urged the Government of Nagaland to check its perspective and be consistent on the rights of Naga people over its land. (Page News Service)