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Row over construction of police BOPs along Assam-Nagaland border

By Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Jan 28 - Against the backdrop of recent reports of construction of police border outposts (BOPs) along Assam-Nagaland border areas by the Assam government, the United Naga Tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) has accused the Nagaland government led by Neiphiu Rio of failing to raise the border issue in its right perspective.

It cited construction of BOPs in jhum fields of Lirmen village and Indisen village near Dimapur town and in Wamakam village last year by the Assam government.

Condemning what they called �high-handedness� of the Assam government, UNTABA chairman Hukavi T Yeputhomi and general secretary Imsumongba Pongen, in a release on Monday, said they met the Chief Minister on a number of occasions and would meet the Nagaland Commissioner on the issue. The association also said it met Rio in New Delhi several times when he was an MP.

�It is, however, very disheartening to observe the indifferent attitude and lack of initiative in addressing the recurrent developments from the Assam side by the Government of Nagaland,� the UNTABA lamented.

The association urged the Assam government not to assert its authority unilaterally, failing which the Naga people may take their own course of action which may affect the cordial relationship between the people of the two states.

The UNTABA also urged the district civil and police administrations of the border areas of Nagaland to be �active in matters of border issues�. It warned that it may be compelled to even picket offices of the border area civil and police administrations if they fail to do so.

The association said the border issue between Assam and Nagaland is still under litigation process in the Supreme Court for the last 30 years. It said that without hope of any tangible outcome, the state government has spent more than Rs 30 crore from the exchequer through the commissioner of Nagaland who looks after the Border Affairs department.

It alleged that successive State governments had never been serious on the issue in spite of all bilateral and trilateral agreements among the two state governments and the Centre.

The UNTABA further alleged that the present Advocate General of Nagaland, who is not a native of the State, was reappointed to the post �because he was related to the Chief Minister�. It said it had, on various occasions, intimated the State government to appoint an indigenous Naga, who knows the real history of the land and the Naga people, as Advocate General.

The UNTABA alleged that the Assam police and civil administration were constantly trying to open police outposts in the border areas which legitimately fall under Naga people�s jurisdiction.

On opening of BOPs by Nagaland, the association said the Dimapur district civil and police administration, in particular, has submitted a feasibility report for opening a BOP in Rilan village area to the Commissioner of Police for immediate consideration.

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Row over construction of police BOPs along Assam-Nagaland border

DIMAPUR, Jan 28 - Against the backdrop of recent reports of construction of police border outposts (BOPs) along Assam-Nagaland border areas by the Assam government, the United Naga Tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) has accused the Nagaland government led by Neiphiu Rio of failing to raise the border issue in its right perspective.

It cited construction of BOPs in jhum fields of Lirmen village and Indisen village near Dimapur town and in Wamakam village last year by the Assam government.

Condemning what they called �high-handedness� of the Assam government, UNTABA chairman Hukavi T Yeputhomi and general secretary Imsumongba Pongen, in a release on Monday, said they met the Chief Minister on a number of occasions and would meet the Nagaland Commissioner on the issue. The association also said it met Rio in New Delhi several times when he was an MP.

�It is, however, very disheartening to observe the indifferent attitude and lack of initiative in addressing the recurrent developments from the Assam side by the Government of Nagaland,� the UNTABA lamented.

The association urged the Assam government not to assert its authority unilaterally, failing which the Naga people may take their own course of action which may affect the cordial relationship between the people of the two states.

The UNTABA also urged the district civil and police administrations of the border areas of Nagaland to be �active in matters of border issues�. It warned that it may be compelled to even picket offices of the border area civil and police administrations if they fail to do so.

The association said the border issue between Assam and Nagaland is still under litigation process in the Supreme Court for the last 30 years. It said that without hope of any tangible outcome, the state government has spent more than Rs 30 crore from the exchequer through the commissioner of Nagaland who looks after the Border Affairs department.

It alleged that successive State governments had never been serious on the issue in spite of all bilateral and trilateral agreements among the two state governments and the Centre.

The UNTABA further alleged that the present Advocate General of Nagaland, who is not a native of the State, was reappointed to the post �because he was related to the Chief Minister�. It said it had, on various occasions, intimated the State government to appoint an indigenous Naga, who knows the real history of the land and the Naga people, as Advocate General.

The UNTABA alleged that the Assam police and civil administration were constantly trying to open police outposts in the border areas which legitimately fall under Naga people�s jurisdiction.

On opening of BOPs by Nagaland, the association said the Dimapur district civil and police administration, in particular, has submitted a feasibility report for opening a BOP in Rilan village area to the Commissioner of Police for immediate consideration.

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