UNTABA appalled at advise by border affairs adviser

DIMAPUR, JAN 5 (NPN) | Publish Date: 1/5/2020 11:10:23 AM IST

United Naga Tribes Association of Border Areas (UNTABA) said it was appalled by the statement made by adviser Horticulture and Border Affairs Mhathung Yanthan during his recent visit to border areas in Indisen and Rilan, requesting villagers to maintain peace which it described as “nothing but stupid and ignorant”.

UNTABA chairman Hukavi T Yeputhomi and general secretary Imsumongba Pongen, claimed that Nagaland was the only State with no clear-cut boundary demarcation till date. UNTABA said that the current intricacies in and around Indisen and Rilan villages were nothing but the “undoing” of the state government.

It pointed out that since the chief ministership of P Shilu Ao in 1960s and Dr Hokishe Sema in early 70s, the government of Nagaland had initiated appropriate steps demanding implementation of the 16th Point Agreement’s points 12 and 13. This led to institution of Sundaram Commission, which submitted its findings in 1971 based on which an Interim Agreement was reached between Nagaland and Assam governments in 1973.

UNTABA said , the basic idea of the agreement was identifying the historical, geographical and political rights of the Naga people. 

In accordance with this, it said the Centre and Assam had agreed that Nagaland did not have a definite boundary demarcation till date, which prompted the Government of Assam to file a civil suit against the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Chief Election Commission of India and Government of Nagaland in 1988 (Civil Suit No. 2 of 1988) in Supreme Court of India, which made the boundary issue sub judice now.

Referring to recent happenings in and around Indisen and Rilan villages, UNTABA alleged that the forest department of Assam had been trying to erect reserved forests posts without inviting Nagaland forest department. However, it asserted that any pillar or post erected by the Assam forest department would never be the boundary between the two States until and unless the Government of Assam implemented the Interim Agreement of 1973 and 1979. While the Government of Nagaland as a plaintiff had been consistently insisting that 4,974.16 square miles or 12, 883.07 square km area was still under the illegal occupation of Assam, UNTABA said it was unfortunate for the border affairs adviser to be saying that the villagers should maintain peace and tranquillity, instead of insisting Naga people’s rights over their land. 

UNTABA pointed out that it had a clear perspective on the issue, based on which it had had multiple interactions with successive governments in Nagaland and in New Delhi, including Centre’s interlocutor and incumbent governor RN Ravi and the entities involved in the ongoing peace process.

Mentioning that there was no country or state without definite border demarcation, UNTABA wondered how any authority could have a say on things that it was not supposed to. 

It therefore urged the state government to check its perspective and be consistent on the rights of Naga people over their land.



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