Free Press Journal

Joint mechanism to resolve Assam-Naga border violence


Guwahati: Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said here on Thursday that seeing the rising tension in Golaghat district, a joint mechanism has been worked out between the Assam and Nagaland Governments to prevent such incidents in the future.

Rijiju said that officers of both states will meet frequently at pre-designated places to see that such misunderstandings do not get carried forward.

“We should do whatever is possible to ensure peace and tranquility along the border areas,” said Rijiju who was today in Guwahati to attend the northeast minister’s conference over the Golaghat issue.

“Why such incidents are occurring is because of the lack of understanding at the local level. At the ground level, between person to person, there are some misunderstandings which are flared up, and because of rumors and counter rumors, things spread out,” he added.

Rijiju said, “We have already deployed our central armed forces (CRPF) at that disturbed area. Now there are issues that both state Governments, the Nagaland and Assam Governments are saying that our forces are not performing in a very neutral manner. The Assam Government thinks that the CRPF is more pro Nagaland side, and the Nagaland side thinks that it is more on Assam side.”

He also said that both Chief Ministers –Tarun Gogoi of Assam and T.R. Zeliang of Nagaland have agreed to restore normalcy on each side.

“As far as security forces are concerned, we are ready to reinforce more of our central forces whenever it is required. I was told that we need three more companies to deal with the situation, and all the disturbed areas along the border, we need to deploy more forces of our CRPF, we will consider that, and whenever both the state Governments require further help, we are always there,” said Rijiju.

“The Nagaland Government has constituted a committee and arrested 15 people who have seen to be or allegedly involved in situation this means they are taking action and the Assam Government has also taken steps to displace people,” Rijiju added.

Rijiju appealed to the people to not resort to economic blockade whereas work in harmony.

He also appealed to the agitators to not fuel the issue further where both the state Governments have come together and taken a resolution to solve the issue.

“No one should take advantage of the situation and create tension. If any group is trying to take advantage of the situation, that shouldn’t happen and we should help the state Governments in avoiding that. No elements should be allowed to play games here,” said Rijiju.

Earlier today, Assam’s Director General of Police Khagen Sarma confirmed the death of nine people due to violence on the Assam-Nagaland border.

Yesterday, violent protest in Assam’s Golaghat district injured several people as local police opened fire at the mob.

The protest was held against violence in the area that erupted after yesterday’s incident, where Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s convoy was attacked near the Assam-Nagaland border by demonstrators opposing his visit to the area after the police had resorted to firing in the air and lathi-charge to control them.

A similar protest was also staged in Guwahati by the members of All Assam Students Union (AASU) against the Golaghat violence.

Locals in the affected regions continue to live under uncertainty and insecurity due to the periodic clashes.