Assam’s border row shifts from Mizoram to Nagaland

Row over alleged encroachment by Nagas in Assam’s Karbi Anglong and Jorhat districts.

Assam’s border row with its neighbours in the northeast has shifted from areas adjoining Mizoram to Nagaland.

Days after a semblance of normalcy returned to the Assam-Mizoram border, five organisations based in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district have threatened to impose an economic blockade against Nagaland on November 20.

“Lotha and Tangkhul tribal people of Nagaland, backed by their State administration, have been encroaching upon areas inside the Daldali Reserve Forest in Karbi Anglong. We will enforce the blockade and may go for more such measures if the two State governments do not meet to resolve the border issue,” said Simeon Rongphar, president of the Karbi Students’ Association, on Friday.

Forest officials in Karbi Anglong have also raised concern over continuous encroachment by people from Nagaland by removing pillars demarcating the 512.1 km border between the two States.

Prahlad Kro, Assistant Conservator of Forest and Sub-Divisional Police Officer John Das had inspected the “extent of encroachment” on November 11. “The issue needs to be discussed between the two governments,” Mr. Das said.

Land certificates

The Nagaland government has allegedly issued land allotment certificates to the encroachers in Assam. There are similar reports from the Dissoi Valley Reserve Forest in Assam’s Jorhat district.

Jorhat district officials said Assam police personnel erected a temporary camp in the area on November 11 soon after their Nagaland counterparts erected a shed and refused to budge from their position. Efforts were on to pursue the Nagaland authorities to vacate the area and dismantle the structure, Assam officials said.

The Nagaland government has denied “illegal occupation” of land in Assam, claiming that its police personnel were keeping vigil within the State’s periphery.

At least 350 people have lost their lives on Assam’s periphery, mostly along the boundary with Nagaland since 1965. A majority of the victims have been from Assam.

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