Nagaland wants an amicable settlement of the long-standing interstate border dispute with Assam and has tasked its border affairs department to work out modalities for talks with the neighboring state government, an official said on Tuesday.
The decision was taken at the first meeting of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) select committee that was formed in August to consider the border issue.
“The border dispute is up to the Supreme Court but we (Nagaland) are for the settlement of the matter outside the court,” Border Affairs Advisor Mhathung Yanthan told reporters as they left the meeting.
“We had discussions about the background and the genesis of the problem to understand the whole problem,” he said of the meeting.
Mr Yanthan said varied suggestions and opinions were offered by members, who also stressed the need to have regular discussions before meeting with the government of Assam for an amicable settlement of the matter. .
For this, the border affairs department has been tasked with working out the modalities for settling the border issue by having appropriate discussions with the Assam government outside the tribunal, he said.
Committee co-organizer TR Zeliang, who is also the leader of the Naga Popular Front (FNP), said the meeting deliberated on past failures regarding an amicable settlement between the two states.
In the past, the government of Assam depended on the tribunal, which cannot demarcate the border between the two states, he said.
Zeliang said the Nagaland government attempted to settle the border dispute amicably with the participation of the Interior Ministry in 2014 and 2015 during his tenure as chief minister, but the chief minister of The then Assam, Tarun Gogoi, was not friends with the Nagas, he said. .
“Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma maintains friendly relations with Nagaland and, with this in mind, we believe that the two states can come together to discuss the matter and settle it amicably,” he said. .
The ruling Nagaland Democratic Alliance is a state-level coalition of political parties of which the BJP is a member. Mr. Sarma is the most important leader of the saffron party in the northeast.
Zeliang said the select committee meeting during the day decided that the two states should form local bodies made up of indigenous people in border areas to sit together on the advice of state governments.
The meeting, he said, decided to propose bringing in a neutral person – either Union Home Minister Amit Shah or Prime Minister Narendra Modi – to review past interim agreements signed. between Nagaland and Assam.
“The interim agreements were one-sided and we hope to have a concrete decision between the two states soon,” Zeliang added.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is the organizer of the select committee, while Chief Deputy Minister Y Patton and Zeliang are its co-organizers. Nagaland Ministers P Paiwang Konyak and Jacob Zhimomi, and NPF MP Amenba Yaden in addition to Mr. Yanthan, are its members.
Nagaland KG Kenye MP Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Tokheho Yepthomi MP are special guests and Nagaland Commissioner and Secretary for Border Affairs Rovilatuo Mor is the secretary of the select committee.
The committee will submit its report to the Assembly within three months of the date of its formation, which is August 5.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)