'Major breakthrough': Assam CM hails agreement with Nagaland on border issue
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday announced de-escalation of tension of the state's border with Nagaland. He said that an understanding has been reached to immediately withdraw states' forces from border locations.
"In a major breakthrough towards de-escalating tensions at Assam-Nagaland border, the two Chief Secretaries have arrived at an understanding to immediately withdraw states' forces from border locations to their respective base camps," Sarma said on Twitter.
"This is a historic step in our relations. My gratitude to HCM Sri @Neiphiu_Rio for working with #Assam in restoring peace on the border. Assam is committed to ensuring peace along all its borders & strives for social & economic prosperity of #NorthEast region," Sarma said in subsequent tweet.
He also attached the minutes of the meeting held between the chief secretaries of the two states on Saturday.
Nagaland protested after the Assam Police allegedly tried to set up a camp close to Vikuto village under Tzurangkong range in Mokokchung district of Nagaland on June 29. The area is near Mariani in Assam's Jorhat district.
Several rounds of negotiations were held to find a solution to the issue. Nagaland’s Deputy CM Y Patton a meeting with various organisations of the Tzurangkong area on Friday.
He assured that the border issue is being taken up at the highest level for a peaceful resolution, but Nagaland did not withdraw its forces. Patton claimed that in the past agreements between the two Northeastern states, both police forces had agreed to withdraw from the border areas, but Assam did not do it and has in fact increased its strength while Nagaland withdrew its forces.
"We will not make the mistake again," he said before today's agreement was reached. Assam and Nagaland share a 512.1 km long border.
The border dispute between Assam and Nagaland began soon after Nagaland became a state in 1963. The Nagaland State Act of 1962 had defined the state's borders according to a 1925 notification when Naga Hills and Tuensang Area were integrated into a new administrative unit.
Nagaland, however, did not accept the boundary delineation and demanded that the new state should also have all Naga-dominated area in North Cachar and Nagaon districts of Assam. Major clashes on the inter-state border took place several times since 1965.