Nagaland reiterates settling border dispute outside court

Correspondent KOHIMA, SEP 14 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/14/2021 2:15:34 PM IST

Advisor for Border affairs Mhathung Yanthan informed that the border affairs department has been entrusted to work out the modalities to settle the border issue by having proper discussion with the Assam government outside the court.

He said this was in pursuance of the resolutions adopted at the recently concluded Assembly session- to amicably settle the Nagaland-Assam border issue outside the court. Yanthan said the local communities of both states will also be involved in the joint effort.

Yanthan said this while talking to media persons after attending the first meeting of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) select committee on Nagaland-Assam border.  

Yanthan said that the committee held discussions on the background and genesis of the problem to understand the entire issue. He said that various suggestions and opinions were given by the members, who also stressed the need to have regular discussions before meeting the Assam government for an amicable settlement of the issue.

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio,   the convenor of the committee, informed members at the meeting that it was  decided to increase committee members and also include officials from the geology and mining department since there were a lot of oil operations going on along the border area, which would enable the committee to understand more on that part.

After Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yepthomi raised a question on the matter in the Parliament, Rio said the state government received good information and were deliberating on it.   

‘Proposal to bring in neutral person’ 

NPF legislature party leader and committee co-convener, T R Zeliang said that the meeting proposed to bring in a neutral person, either  Union Home minister Amit Shah or Prime Minister Narendra Modi- to review the past interim agreements signed between Nagaland and Assam. 

He said a neutral party had to step in first to cross check all the agreements, insisting that one-sided agreements should be revised in presence of both the chief ministers or the committees and hoped that some concrete decision would be taken by Assam and Nagaland.

Zeliang alleged that Assam government never come forward for amicable settlement, adding that the case was still pending as Supreme Court could not demarcate the boundary line due to which problems persist. Stating that the court had directed the Union home ministry to resolve the matter amicably, he recalled his meetings with Union ministers Kiren Rijiju in 2014-15 and again with Rajnath Singh on the issue.

He alleged that the former chief minister of Assam was not friendly to the Nagas, though the current incumbent was friendly, and hoped that with the intervention of the Union home ministry, both the States would come together and discuss the border issue across the table and settle it amicably.

Zeliang mentioned that the Tuesday meeting also discussed whether local bodies could be constituted. “Assam indigenous people should constitute a committee and Nagas too should constitute one, so that these local bodies can sit together and advise their respective State governments to sort out the boundary dispute,” he suggested.


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