Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday informed the assembly that the central government is working to resolve all the inter-state border issues among the northeastern states before the celebrations of the 75th year of Independence.
Replying to queries from opposition MLAs Dr Chumben Murry and Imkong L Imchen, Rio said he had telephonic conservation with his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma and discussed how to defuse tension in the disputed area along the border and maintain peace there.
Rio had on July 31 said the two states signed an agreement to de-escalate tension in Ao Senden and Vikuto villages. Both the governments withdrew their respective police outposts from the long-disputed border, he said.
“We also decided to conduct satellite mapping to check that no fresh entries or activities happen in those areas,” he said.
Rio also highlighted that he and Sarma had discussions on border issues with Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the NEC meeting in Meghalaya’s Shillong in the last month.
“Shah clearly stated that before the celebrations of the 75th year of Independence, all these inter-state border problems should be resolved,” he said.
“We (Rio and Sarma) agreed that a Supreme Court case, which is still pending, could not resolve the border issue,” he said.
Earlier, in a written reply to a question raised by MLA Dr Chumben Murry in the assembly, Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton said the Nagaland government has recently strengthened its manpower at Vikuto, Ao Senden and Tsutapela gate to counter attempts by Assam to establish new border outposts.
The state administration is on alert and has prepared to offset any move by Assam, he said.
Patton also said it is learned from the media reports that the Assam government plans to set up camps at strategic locations along the inter-state border, but there is no official communication.
Citing the recent agreement between the two states, MLA Imkong L. Imchen said the document has not been made available in the House. He also asked how the government desires to keep the machinery on alert and has prepared itself to counter any move by Assam.
He also urged Speaker Sharingain Longkumer to allow discussion on the border issue in the ongoing session of the assembly. A discussion on the Assam-Nagaland border has been listed on August 5.
Chumben alleged that the Nagaland government has become ” complacent and casual” toward the border problems. Murry said defusing tension in the border areas is not enough but there should be efforts to build rapport and create mutual understanding among the residents there.
Observing that the Border Affairs department has not been given its due importance, he appealed to the government to be more active. Assam and Nagaland share a 512.1 km long border.
The border dispute began soon after Nagaland became a state in 1963.
The Nagaland State Act of 1962 had defined the state’s borders according to a 1925 notification when Naga Hills and Tuensang area were integrated into a new administrative unit.
Nagaland, however, did not accept the boundary delineation and demanded that the state should also have all Naga-dominated area in North Cachar and Nagaon districts of Assam. Major clashes on the inter-state border took place several times since 1965.
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