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Proposed border mediation meet postponed
Correspondent KOHIMA, JAN 10 (NPN):
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Published on 11 Jan. 2011 1:09 AM IST
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The proposed meeting of the mediators on Assam-Nagaland Border issue which was earlier scheduled for January 10 and 11 has been postponed due to the current law and order situation in Assam.
According to an official source, the mediators on Assam-Nagaland border dispute was scheduled to meet at New Delhi but was postponed following law and order problem in Golpara district of Assam. Sources said that Assam government has sought postponement of the scheduled meeting.
Commissioner of Nagaland Banuo Z Jamir who is also looking after the border affairs was supposed to lead the delegation from Nagaland. Although, no new date has been fixed, the next meeting of the mediators was likely to be held after the Republic Day.
It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court had earlier constituted a local border commission to settle the Assam-Nagaland border dispute.
The same commission was then disbanded and a team of expert mediators were constituted to try and settle the border dispute outside the court. The mediators had earlier visited the state and also carried out physical verification in November last. The mediators consisted of Advocate Niranjan Bhatt and Sr Advocate, Sriram Panchoo along with their two assistant mediators Aparna Vasu and Priyadarshini Apurva.
They have already visited Assam on November 15 and met Assam chief minister the same day. They also visited Nagaland and carried out aerial as well as on-spot verification by road to the disputed border areas on November 16 and 17.
They returned to Kohima and met Nagaland chief minister the same day. They mediators met chief secretary of Nagaland on November 18 next and went back to Delhi on November 20.
Since the apex court appointed the mediators and their assistant mediators on August 20 last, it had so far had four sittings from September 18-19 and October 28-29 respectively at Delhi and also in Assam and Nagaland with the representatives of both the two contending states.
As per the terms of the references, the mediators are to submit a preliminary report after three sittings as to whether the dispute could be resolved between the parties by mediation. On receipt of a positive reply from the mediators, the court will decide whether the period of mediation may be extended with the consent of the parties.
It may be mentioned that Assam Government had earlier filed an original suit with the Supreme Court against the Union of India in 1988 for identification of the boundaries between the States of Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Supreme Court on September 13, 2004 ordered for the appointment of a commission and constituted a Local Border Commission headed by Justice S.N. Variava, a former Judge of the Supreme Court as the chairperson of the Local Commission to look into the border dispute between the two states. He was to be assisted by Kamal Naidu, Retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Andhra Pradesh, and S.P. Goel, Additional Surveyor General of India, as members.
The mandate of the Local Commission was to “identify the boundaries between the States of Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.” Justice S.N. Variava was later succeeded by Retired Justice Tarun Chatterjee of the Supreme Court of India on 20th January, 2010.
In the meantime, following the Supreme Court of India directive that the decades old Assam Nagaland border issue be resolved through mediation, a two-judge bench consisting of Markandey Katju and T.S. Thakur, JJ in its order dated August 20, 2010 ordered constitution of a panel consisting of two mediators who would, according to the Court, work under its auspices.
The court then appointed two of the foremost experts in mediation in the country, Sriram Panchoo, Senior Advocate, High Court of Madras and Niranjan Bhat, Senior Advocate, High Court of Gujarat, as co-mediators.

 
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