Vehicles were stranded on both sides of the border by a 12-hour blockade today on the Margherita-Changlang Road, the only one, linking land-locked Arunachal Pradesh from the upper Assam side.
The blockade to protest alleged attempts by Arunachal Pradesh to encroach on land in Assam and violence by the NSCN-IM had been initially called for 72 hours, but was reduced to 12 hours considering hardship to the people, ULFA pro-talk group's Secretary Jiten Dutta told PTI.
"If Arunachal continues to support the Greater Nagalim demand of the NSCN-IM, then its indigenous Adi, Khampti and Misimi ethnic groups who were never a part of Nagaland will lose their distinct identity," Dutta warned. Reacting to NSCN(IM)'s warning that the economic blockade be lifted by today or else Assamese people residing in Arunachal Pradesh would be attacked, Dutta said, "If the threat is carried out, we will also not spare the Nagas living in Assam."
Dutta appealed to the Central and Arunachal Pradesh governments to evict NSCN-IM from camps in Tirap and Changlang districts of that state. He also asked people and student unions to be vigilant against the 'Greater Nagalim' demand by the NSCN-IM.
The pro-talk group's chairman Mrinal Hazarika said "NSCN(IM) cadre who are supposed to stay in designated camps have broken the ceasefire rules and are moving about freely with arms. The Centre should control them". The blockade was also called to demand steps by Centre for immediately halting NSCN-IM and other elements trying to occupy land in Assam for Greater Nagalim. NSCN(IM) militants and a section of people in Arunachal Pradesh have engaged in sporadic incidents of violence. They exchanged fire with security forces in Assam on August 14 at Charaipung and Bimalapur in Sibsagar district.