Nagaland Assembly adopts resolution on Assam border issue

The Nagaland government has decided to set up a 'select committee' to examine all aspects of the Assam-Nagaland border issue.


(Representational Image: Unsplash)

 

The Nagaland Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously adopted a three-point resolution on Assam-Nagaland border issue and decided to set up a 'select committee' to examine all aspects of the Assam-Nagaland border issue and submit its report within a period of three months. The select committee will consist of the chief minister, the opposition leader and some cabinet ministers and officials.

The assembly also 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. It also adopted a resolution that the border issue should be amicably settled outside the court by the two state governments, by involving the local communities from both sides.

Earlier, taking part in the discussion on matters of urgent public importance on “Nagaland-Assam border”, MLA Imkong Imchen stated that the Assam Government has border disputes with various North Eastern states and mentioned that the recent clash between the Government of Assam and Mizoram Government is a classic example of the "aggressive policy of Assam Government", a DIPR report said.

Imchen suggested to the Chief Minister of Nagaland to coordinate with all the Chief Ministers of the North Eastern states to have a common platform and pursue the matter to the Prime minister of India to intervene in "the aggressive policy" of the Assam Government. Imchen also suggested the Chief Minister to constitute a cabinet sub-committee on border management to deal and review all the agreements entered with the Assam Government. He was of the view that such a committee will have an edge in decision making for far reaching effect. He added that Nagaland Armed Police force should be deployed to avert any aggressive policy and protect the border area of Nagaland. He urged the Government to expedite the compilation of the foot hill road at the earliest to avoid issues arising due bandhs imposed in Assam. 

MLA, Yollow Konyak suggested that Government can have a proper land holding system in order to protect the interest of the people living in the border area and emphasized on the need for proper deployment of the state police force to tackle law and order problem.

Advisor, Horticulture and Border Affairs, Mhathung Yanthan, briefed the House on the history and events of the State since the creation of the Naga Hills District under Assam in 1866. Lamenting the usage of satellite imaginary in disputed areas, he called for solving the issue by visiting the disputed areas and getting firsthand knowledge. Terming the border issue with Assam a “perpetual problem”, he sought for concerted effort in solving the problem.

Minister, Higher Education and Tribal Affairs, Temjen Imna Along said that the Nagaland-Assam border issue remains unsettled ever since Nagaland became the 16th State of India. Under this issue, he suggested to the House to upgrade the border magistrate to a DC level. He also requested that the 13th IRB be sent to the recent disputed areas in order to avoid any future unfortunate incidents. He also said that border outposts should be strengthened with more assertiveness. He also said that village guards (VGs) should be welcomed to assure security along the borders. Along called for the need of proper dialogue and understanding.

Moatoshi Longkumer, MLA participating in the discussion raised various problems faced by the Nagas due to land disputes with Assam. He stated that the issuing has been hampering developmental and farming activities. He urged for deployment of neutral security forces like CRPF at the disputed areas.

Discussing on the Assam-Nagaland boundary issue, Leader of Opposition, TR Zeliang stated that the boundary dispute has created unrest for people of both the States. He said that despite such conflict and turmoil, even the Supreme Court has not been able to finalise the boundary issue which he felt was due to the complexity of the matter.

Giving a brief historical background of Nagaland, TR Zeliang stated that there have been agreements between Assam and Nagaland to solve boundary disputes but the problem continue to exist which he believes, is partly due to the fact that some clauses in the Agreements signed between the two Governments are biased and thereby, unreliable and have worked to the disadvantage of Nagaland to a large extent.

The Leader of Opposition highlighted the Sundaram Report which was formed by the GoI under the leadership of KVK Sundaram in 1971 to observe the border dispute between Assam and Nagaland.

He highlighted various instances where Assam got undue advantage over Nagaland. TR Zeliang stated that the imbroglio has to be resolved amicably outside the court as total dependence on Supreme Court alone may not bring the matter to its logical conclusion. He also suggested that a Parliamentary Panel be constituted to study the border dispute issue and to submit its report within a stipulated time period.

Also taking part in the discussion, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that he fully endorses the Opposition Leader regarding the Nagaland-Assam border issue. Rio also said that the people of Nagaland should unite and take a common stand on this issue stating that the agreement between the two states should be without any pre-conditions.

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First Published:Aug. 5, 2021, 10:18 p.m.

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