Tension in border prevails

DIMAPUR, JUL 26 (NPN): | Publish Date: 7/26/2018 11:37:32 PM IST

Assam NGOs threaten INDEFINITE NH-61 eco blockade on Nagaland

 Taking the law into their own hands allegedly due a lot of push from the local MLA of Amguri, some NGOs of Assam have issued an ultimatum that the construction of Assam police outpost should be resumed at Watiyongpang hillock within Nagaland on or before July 30, 2018, failing with they would impose an indefinite NH-61 economic blockade.

The Border Magistrate Nagaland, in his report to ADC Tuli disclosed that as per information, on July 23 the local MLA of Amguri Prodip Hazarika had intruded inside Watiyongpang area under Wameken village, with some labourers to clear the jungle for setting up the police outpost. 
Upon hearing of the intrusion, a large group of volunteers from Wameken rushed to the spot after which the jungle clearing party from Assam immediately left.
On July 26, some Assam NGOs blocked the road to Mokokchung but after a joint border meeting with police and border magistrates of both the state, it was lifted.
Tension once again gripped the area along Nagaland-Assam border (Halwating-Tuli section) when reports spread about the impending blockade on NH 61. Many vehicles from Nagaland were stranded due to the blockade but was lifted after the Border authorities of both the state intervened.
According to the report from the Border Magistrate (BM), L. Samuel, some Assam based NGOs Thursday morning blocked the highway (NH-61) at Halwating near the CRPF camp.
However, after a series of meetings with the Assam counterpart, Samuel said they succeeded in having the NGOs temporarily lift the blockade. Accordingly a border magisterial meeting was held at Halwating police station. 
The NGOs were also informed about the Home ministry’s letter dated August 20, 2008 in which both Assam and Nagaland had agreed to maintain status quo in the Disputed Area Belt (DAB) and the entire Assam-Nagaland border, till the boundary dispute was decided by the Supreme Court. 
The letter also clearly stated that “no new settlement/construction would be erected by either state governments in the disputed area till the matter which is pending before the Supreme Court is decide.” 
Despite having seen the letter, the NGOs were adamant and insisted on July 30 as the deadline for establishing the new police outpost at Watiyongpang.
Meanwhile, Home Commissioner Nagaland, R. Ramakrishnan shot off a missive to Assam’s Principal Secretary (Home) informing the latter to direct the Sivasagar district administration to stop construction activities in the DAB.
He also drew attention to the sudden blockade imposed in Halwating area, causing inconvenience to commuters from Nagaland.
Ramakrishnan said that construction activities at DAB under taken by Assam government, if not stopped, would disturb peace and tranquillity maintained in the border areas. He said it was also a clear violation of the decision agreed upon by both the states not to carry out any construction in the DAB.
Further, Nagaland government has asked Assam to provide adequate security to people from Nagaland travelling along the highway in Amguri and border areas.
UNTABA condemns 
United Naga Tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) condemned the “high handedness” of Sivasagar district administration, Assam for “wilfully trying” to usurp and occupy the lands that belonged to Naga people in the border areas under Tuli ADC Hqs.
In a press release, UNTABA chairman, Hukavi T Yeputhomi¸ and general secretary, Imsumongba Pongen, alleged that people and the authorities from Assam always try to provoke the peace loving Naga people living in border areas.
The association said unless people under Mejensanger Putu Wameken handled the situation in a matured way, as they did, another border clashes would have erupted again. UNTABA reminded that there was no demarcated boundary between the two states for which active litigation process was undergoing in the Supreme Court for the last 30 years. 
It said that Assam failing to accept this fact and continuing such illegal intrusions would not only invite contempt of Court, but also invite more unwarranted tensions amongst the people living in both sides.
Further, UNTABA reminded that until the Civil Suit No.2 of 1988 was brought to conclusion, the authorities of both the states must work under the Interim Agreement of 1972 and 1979 made between the two state governments so as to maintain status quo.
Meanwhile, UNTABA said pre-emptive action initiated by the Nagaland government ahead of draft NRC publication was “too little too less” since there was no demarcated boundary in the entire stretch of the boundary between the two states. In such scenario, UNTABA said it would be a herculean task to conduct verification. 
UNTABA maintained that it had therefore been urging Nagaland Government to take up the issue in its right perspective all these times.

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