Editorial

Blockade blackmail

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/21/2020 12:18:53 PM IST

 During the past week, various organisations in Assam imposed economic blockades on Nagaland- the first on November 15 at Mariani-Mokokchung, the point of entry into Nagaland which links the districts of Mokokchung, Longleng, Tuensang, Kiphire and Zunheboto. The other economic blockade was imposed at Karbi Anglong on two entry points-New Field and Dillai Gate, which are linked to five districts - Dimapur, Kohima, Peren, Phek and Wokha. The second economic blockade was imposed on November 17 but later called off the same day following an earlier meeting between the DCs of Dimapur and Karbi Anglong. While around 15 organisations in Karbi Anglong initiated by the students, had temporarily suspended the indefinite economic blockade pending fulfilment of their 6-Point Charter of demands by the Assam government and also in lieu of assurances from the DC Karbi Anglong to pursue the allegations of encroachment with his Dimapur counterpart; the same had not been achieved with regard to the blockade on Nagaland from Mariani. The Karbi Anglong organisations have alleged that some people from Nagaland had encroached into large tracks inside the Doldoli reserve forest. While those from Nagaland side dismiss the allegation since they claim it was their traditional land that they were occupying. Even if both district authorities cannot obviously agree on the matter, at least they have the responsibility of enforcing peace at any cost and without bias. In the case with the economic blockade on Nagaland from the Mariani-Mokokchung road, the organisations in Mariani appear to be determined to not back down with the blockade. As per reports, what has sparked off the matter was the opposition from organisations in Mariani against the setting up of a COVID-29 check point at the border. That there has been two economic blockades on Nagaland during the same period at two entry points from Assam by organisations from the latter state only leads to suspicion that these are handiworks of elements conspiring against Nagaland. Even in the recent past, several organisations from the area had imposed bandhs and blockades against Nagaland vehicles. What has made the matter of greater concern regarding the ongoing bandh at Mariani, is the deployment of additional armed police force by Assam. The two incidents also clearly prove that the government of Assam has no clear policy of pursuing peaceful resolution of disputes rather than resorting to knee jerk reactions and viewing them through the prism of law and order.. In case of disputes, there are border magistrates on both sides who are assigned with the responsibility of ensuring that the situation is not vitiated by those who want to provoke enmity and least concerned about the consequences. A few offenders on either side, do not represent their respective states. Otherwise, also the boundary issue has its roots in the 1925 notification issued by the then British rulers who transferred large tracts of lands belonging to some Naga tribes to Assam province purely for administrative convenience. Perhaps both states need to sit and take a serious review so that elements from either side are prevented from creating any unwanted situation. The road blockades will continue to be an illegal tool to blackmail but irrespective of who is right or wrong; this cannot be permitted and both states need to get down and start working on taking preventive measures to restore normalcy.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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