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Assam, Nagaland officials meet over border firing on MLA

By PTI
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Mariani (Assam), May 29: An Assam government delegation, led by Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) GP Singh, on Friday visited the trouble-torn border area with Nagaland in Jorhat district where alleged encroachers had fired upon Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi.

Singh, accompanied by Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Ashok Barman and Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain, held discussions with their Nagaland counterparts on encroachment by people from the neighbouring state in Dessoi Valley Reserve Forest in Mariani Revenue Circle.

Singh told reporters that he was directed by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to visit the reserve forest area where the Congress MLA had gone to review the situation on Thursday, following reports of encroachment and was fired upon.

He claimed that encroachment by the people of Nagaland had taken place in the reserve forest in violation of the protocols and orders of the Supreme Court and the matter was extensively discussed with the officials of the neighbouring state.

"It was also decided to hold a DC/SP-level meeting of both Jorhat and Nagaland's Mokokchung districts within three days, followed immediately by IG Border level meeting," Singh said.

The Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) of Jorhat and Mokokchung would carry out joint visits in the area to ensure that there was no further encroachment, he said.

"The representatives from Nagaland have been strongly advised to disengage from the area immediately," Singh added.

A detailed report on the encroachment and violation of the Supreme Court orders would be submitted formally to the state government by the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police so that legal steps can be taken, he said.

The Special DGP also directed the Jorhat SP to officially send a letter to his Mokokchung counterpart for an inquiry into the firing incident on the MLA to ascertain who had opened fire and whether the weapons used were licensed.

"A case has been registered at the Mariani police station and it would be investigated immediately. We hope to resolve the issue soon," he added.

Kurmi, who was on a dharna near the site, demanded a written assurance from the district administrations of both states that encroachment in the reserve forest would stop immediately.

He also demanded that all illegal constructions, including houses and bridges, on Assam's land should immediately be demolished.

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi wrote to Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, asking him to provide additional security to Kurmi as the MLA had a narrow escape after 15 to 20 rounds were fired at him right after he entered the reserve forest area.

"The additional security will not only ensure his well-being but also allow him to carry out his duties as an elected representative more efficiently," Gogoi said.

The Assam state Congress also condemned the attack on Kurmi, describing it as a "very serious issue".

"Assam government should immediately apprehend the culprits and take up the matter with the Nagaland government to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future,"

Congress spokesperson Bobbeeta Sarma said. The matter of the border dispute in that area is in the Supreme Court and both Assam and Nagaland governments had agreed to joint patrolling in September 2020.

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Assam, Nagaland officials meet over border firing on MLA

Mariani (Assam), May 29: An Assam government delegation, led by Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) GP Singh, on Friday visited the trouble-torn border area with Nagaland in Jorhat district where alleged encroachers had fired upon Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi.

Singh, accompanied by Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Ashok Barman and Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain, held discussions with their Nagaland counterparts on encroachment by people from the neighbouring state in Dessoi Valley Reserve Forest in Mariani Revenue Circle.

Singh told reporters that he was directed by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to visit the reserve forest area where the Congress MLA had gone to review the situation on Thursday, following reports of encroachment and was fired upon.

He claimed that encroachment by the people of Nagaland had taken place in the reserve forest in violation of the protocols and orders of the Supreme Court and the matter was extensively discussed with the officials of the neighbouring state.

"It was also decided to hold a DC/SP-level meeting of both Jorhat and Nagaland's Mokokchung districts within three days, followed immediately by IG Border level meeting," Singh said.

The Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) of Jorhat and Mokokchung would carry out joint visits in the area to ensure that there was no further encroachment, he said.

"The representatives from Nagaland have been strongly advised to disengage from the area immediately," Singh added.

A detailed report on the encroachment and violation of the Supreme Court orders would be submitted formally to the state government by the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police so that legal steps can be taken, he said.

The Special DGP also directed the Jorhat SP to officially send a letter to his Mokokchung counterpart for an inquiry into the firing incident on the MLA to ascertain who had opened fire and whether the weapons used were licensed.

"A case has been registered at the Mariani police station and it would be investigated immediately. We hope to resolve the issue soon," he added.

Kurmi, who was on a dharna near the site, demanded a written assurance from the district administrations of both states that encroachment in the reserve forest would stop immediately.

He also demanded that all illegal constructions, including houses and bridges, on Assam's land should immediately be demolished.

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi wrote to Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, asking him to provide additional security to Kurmi as the MLA had a narrow escape after 15 to 20 rounds were fired at him right after he entered the reserve forest area.

"The additional security will not only ensure his well-being but also allow him to carry out his duties as an elected representative more efficiently," Gogoi said.

The Assam state Congress also condemned the attack on Kurmi, describing it as a "very serious issue".

"Assam government should immediately apprehend the culprits and take up the matter with the Nagaland government to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future,"

Congress spokesperson Bobbeeta Sarma said. The matter of the border dispute in that area is in the Supreme Court and both Assam and Nagaland governments had agreed to joint patrolling in September 2020.

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