The United Naga Tribes Association of Border Areas (UNTABA), on Sunday, said that setting up of an Assam Police battalion and training centre for special force and commandos of armed Assam police at Daldali Reserve Forest will create more “disharmony and frictions” among the various tribal communities “living peacefully as neighbours” along Assam-Nagaland border areas. 

The association said that the Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council (KAADC) had offered a huge plot of land at Daldali Reserved Forest adjacent to Indisen, Aoyimkum and Rangapahar army cantonment area to the Assam government for the purpose. 

UNTABA president Hukavi T Yeputhomi  and general secretary Imsumongba Pongen claimed that the aforementioned areas purely fall under the “rightful ownership of the Naga people” that were unilaterally transferred to the then Nagaon district for administrative convenience by the British India Government in the late 19th and early 20th century. 

The association said while the Assam government has proposed to establish armed police battalions along the inter-state boundary line, the proposal of the Nagaland government to deploy more personnel in a few border observation posts is too little too less.  

“This shows how serious the government of the day in Nagaland is on the long-pending border issue,” UNTABA said. 

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The UNTABA suggested that if the Nagaland government cannot open new battalions, then the existing battalions should be brought immediately to the border areas. 

The association also proposed to the Nagaland government that there should be chief ministerial level meeting immediately to conduct comprehensive review of the interim agreements of 1972 and 79 between the two states to adopt an appropriate step to denotify the infamous “Dispute Area Belt” (DAB) and remove the ‘DAB’ tag from all the ancestral and historical Naga lands bordering Assam. 

It demanded that appropriate step be taken to remove ‘neutral’ paramilitary forces (CRPF) and the civil and police administration given direct charge in all these areas.  

The association also demanded that the Nagaland government persuade the Assam government to withdraw the infamous ‘Civil Suit No. 2 of 1988’ from the Supreme Court so that the inter-state boundary issue between the two states can be settled on historical basis for all times to come. 

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It sought to remind that the traditional and historical boundary between the two states is ‘Dhodhar Ali’ or ‘Naga Bund’ that runs from Golaghat to upper Assam and from Golaghat downward runs from Daigurung river to Kaliani river then to Kopili river down to Barak River. 

According to the UNTBA, there can never be permanent peace between the two states until an inter-state boundary solution is brought about on the basis of historical facts. 

Bhadra Gogoi

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