A chief secretary-level meeting on Assam-Nagaland border issues on Friday discussed several important issues pertaining to the inter-state border areas, the disputed area belt (DAB).

The meeting also discussed the provisions of the Special Operating Procedure (SOP) for the deployment of central armed police forces (CAPFs) in the disputed area belt (DAB) along the Assam- Nagaland border.

The Assam team, led by chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, consisted of additional chief secretary (home) Jishnu Barua, DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, SDGP (Border) Mukesh Agarwal, other senior officials and the DCs and SPs of Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Charaideo districts.

The Nagaland team was led by chief secretary Temjen Toy and consisted of DGP T. John Longkumer, principal secretary (home) Abhijit Sinha, ADG (law and order), Renchamo P. Kikon, other senior officials of the state along with the DCs and SPs of Mon, Longleng, Mokokchung, Wokha, Dimapur and Peren districts.

In the meeting held at the Chumukedima police complex, Dimapur, Nagaland chief secretary Toy and DGP Longkumer stressed the need for maintenance of neutrality by the central forces and other security forces of Assam in the disputed area belt and also for not taking any unilateral action which may create misunderstanding.

The matter regarding the constraints existing in the present SOP from the viewpoint of Nagaland was also brought up.

They impressed upon taking suitable corrective measures in this regard.

The Assam chief secretary, along with other officials, called for having joint patrolling by the security forces of both the states in the disputed area belt.

They also called for holding border meetings on a regular basis between the concerned DCs, SPs, and the border magistrates of the two states so that any issue or situation developing anywhere could be sorted out amicably.

It was agreed by everyone in the meeting that there should be regular communication among the senior officials of both the states looking into the border matters.

It was stressed that the SPs of the bordering districts of the two states should further strengthen the system of coordination and cooperation among themselves so that prompt action can be taken against criminal and anti-social activities in the border areas.

It was also decided to encourage frequent sports and cultural exchanges between the people of the two states living in the border areas.

According to a release by Nagaland principal secretary (home), the Nagaland chief secretary appreciated his Assam counterpart for taking the initiative for getting the meeting held after six long years and suggested having such meetings at regular intervals in the coming years.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com