SIVASAGAR, June 20 - Opposition leader and MLA from Nazira LAC, Debabrata Saikia visited the Assam-Nagaland border areas around Geleki recently and expressed deep concern over the escalation of tension in the area following continued aggression and encroachment from the Nagas aided by their security forces. He through a letter urged Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to hold urgent talks with his Nagaland counterpart under the Central Government�s mediation to solve the inter-State disputes amicably with particular reference to the Nazira subdivision.
In the letter, the Nazira MLA mentioned that on May 23 and June 5, he had alerted the Chief Minister about large-scale encroachment in Geleki Reserve Forest by unknown miscreants from across the border with active assistance of the Nagaland government. The encroachers not only cut down the tea bushes planted by small tea growers of Assam in the area but also erected check gates inside Assam to prevent the villagers from entering the area. Further, he pointed out that since the first week of June, Nagaland police has begun patrolling the area which was earlier patrolled by Assam police from border outposts at Singibeel, Mugapar and Sonapur.
Saikia stated that the Sivasagar district administration and Nazira subdivisional administration on June 8 and 10 dismantled the check-gate after much persuasion but the situation is far from normal. Saikia referred to the fact that both Assam and Nagaland governments had accepted the termination point of the Pioneer Road as the inter state boundary when it was constructed in 1978 by the Janata government when Dulal Baruah was the PWD Minister. But the people from Nagaland later encroached upon the area and resorted to large-scale extortion, seizure of livestock and intimidation. They even tried to set up polling stations in every election.
Saikia said that the local people stated feeling insecure and fearful as the Nagaland government deployed additional forces in the area and appointed permanent Border Magistrates in the area, which further escalated tension along the border.
Saikia urged the Chief Minister to send a team led by the Minister in Charge of Border areas, the DGP and the Additional Chief Secretary to take stock of the situation. At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reaching out to the Nagas living abroad for an early solution to the Naga Peace process, it would be a gross mistake if the border dispute between the two States is neglected and the Chief Minister must pay urgent attention in the interest of Assam, he added.
�Rajen Gohain shedding crocodile tears�: Saikia while referring to BJP leader Rajen Gohain�s recent visit to Nazira and his concern over the road condition in Nazira, said in a release here that Gohain was in Nazira to strengthen his party�s organisation and he knows pretty well how incompetence is ruling the roost in the name of development all over the BJP-ruled State. As a former Central Minister, he must know that the development works should be a priority with the government and the present state of affairs reflects the irresponsibility of the government. The opposition entrusts the responsibility of building roads and bridges on the government with necessary approval for funds and if the roads are in a bad shape, one must know that the ruling government is in a bad shape either.
Saikia pointed out that while Rajen Gohain was a Central Railway Minister of State, he could not fulfil a small request for a regular stoppage of the Rajdhani Express at Simaluguri Junction and now he has come to shed crocodile�s tears seeing the plight of the people of Nazira. He further stated that MPs Topon Kr Gogoi, Kamakhya Pd Tassa and Rameswar Teli were also requested over the matter, but no one could help him. He cautioned the former Central leader not to come to Nazira to do politics alone. The BJP government, he added must stop talking of its fight against corruption as reports of corruption galore in newspapers these days.