The Centre deemed Assam chief minister (CM) Tarun Gogoi's allegation of the CRPF not intervening in the Assam-Nagaland border dispute as "baseless" on Wednesday, saying the central forces are at the state's disposal.
Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said nine people died following clashes along the border of the two states due to the "carelessness" of the local administration which could have been avoided through joint patrolling by the police forces of both the states.
"As far as the border dispute is concerned both the governments should sit and talk. We can only assist. But it is not correct to blame CRPF and us. Law and order is their subject. We send central forces but state government regulates them," Rijiju said on the sidelines of an event here.
"The allegations of the CM are baseless," he said. Rijuju said he is going to Guwahati on Thursday and would talk to both the chief ministers, Gogoi and Nagaland's TR Zeliang to "sit and resolve the issue together."
"We are worried about these incidents. We have decided that there should be joint patrolling (of the state borders). During the joint patrolling, support will be of central forces," he said.
Rijiju, who is an MP from Arunachal Pradesh, said if both the state governments don't talk then this problem will keep recurring.
"We, at the home ministry, want that all north-east disputes regarding the borders should be solved within themselves. Tomorrow I am going to Guwahati and I will tell both CMs that these deaths have happened due to carelessness and if joint patrolling had been done then we would not have lost so many lives," he said.
Rijiju said he would not make a comment before knowing the facts on the issue of firing by central security forces to quell the protests.
"I will not comment without an inquiry into the firing done by security forces. Chief minister (Gogoi) said CRPF jawans fired....I will say central forces operate on the guidance and control of state authority. State police guides central forces," he said.
The Minister asserted that the Centre sent central forces only when the state governments were not able to resolve the issue leading to local clashes because of which some people died.