While Assam and Mizoram saw their boundary dispute turn violent, the Nagaland government on Friday said that they would maintain a peaceful atmosphere along their over 500-km-long border with Assam.
Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton said that both Chief Ministers – Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma and Nagaland’s Neiphiu Rio – had recently agreed to withdraw their police forces from their outposts in the Tzurangkong border area and maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
Patton, who also holds charge of the Home Department, however, told the media that Nagaland Police would not be withdrawn from Tzurangkong unless and until the Assam Police does so.
He stated that in the past, it was agreed that both state police forces would withdraw from the border areas, but while Nagaland did so, Assam did not keep its commitment, and had, in fact, increased the number of their outposts.
“We would not make the mistake again. One should not test the patience of the Government of Nagaland or the Naga people,” said Patton, who called on the people not to take law into their own hands but to approach the state government and work together to solve the issue.
Patton is also the leader of the BJP legislature party, whose 12 MLAs are part of the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government headed by Rio.
Meanwhile, Nagaland’s Director General of Police John Longkumer said that he has spoken with his counterpart in Assam on the issue of withdrawing forces along the disputed area.
Commissioner, General Administration, Rovilatuo Mor said that the difficulty faced by the people from “economic blockade” and “harassment” is being taken up in the Chief Secretary level and the government machinery is working towards resolving the issues amicably. He also reiterated that physical confrontation should be avoided at any cost.
Patton and other officials also held a meeting with elected leaders of various local bodies along the Assam border to discuss the situation.