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NSCN(R) serves extortion notices to Jorhat villagers

TENSION ALONG ASSAM-NAGALAND BORDER

Villagers at Holonguri tea estate get death threats if they refuse to pay, police intensify patrolling in vulnerable areas

FROM A CORRESPONDENT

JORHAT, Feb 16: Tension prevailed along Assam-Nagaland border areas in Jorhat district on Thursday after a Naga militant outfit issued extortion notices to 16 Assamese villagers the day before.

According to police, the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland/Nagalim, Republic (NSCN-R) has issued extortion notes to 16 Assamese villagers residing at Holonguri tea estate situated along Assam-Nagaland border in Jorhat district, threatening to kill them if they fail to pay up.

“Four armed Naga militants distributed the demand letters to the Assamese villagers on Wednesday and issued ultimatum to pay the amounts within February. Our investigation is on to nab the culprits,” said Luna Sonowal, Subdivisional Police Officer (Titabor).

Talking to The Sentinel, Sonowal also said, “Today we visited the trouble-torn areas and took stock of the situation there. We have talked with our Naga counterparts to help in the arrest of culprits. Accordingly, the Naga village council members assured to help us.”

Thousands of Assamese villagers are now passing sleepless nights after the Naga militants’ threat. Police have been conducting additional patrolling in vulnerable areas, calling upon the public not to panic.

The Assam-Nagaland border dispute is a decades-old problem. The two neighbors share a 434-km boundary in Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat and Karbi Anglong districts.  Assam says Nagaland has been encroaching upon over 66,000 hectares land so far, including over 42,000 hectares in Golaghat alone. The encroached area also includes over 80 per cent of reserved forests.

The two States have held meetings at various levels, signing several agreements to maintain status quo. In September 2006, the Supreme Court set up a three-member local commission headed by a retired judge to identify the boundary. However, the matter is still pending before the apex court.


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Assam
 
Assam is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Dispur located in the city of Guwahati.
 
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Nagaland
 
Nagaland is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Kohima. located in the Guwahati city.
 
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Mizoram
 
Mizoram is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Aizwal. located in the Guwahati city.
 
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Meghalaya
 
Meghalaya is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Shillong. located in the Guwahati.
 
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Manipur
 
Manipur is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Imphal.
 
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Tripura
 
Tripura is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Agartala.
 
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Arunachal Pradesh
 
Arunachal Pradesh is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Itanagar.
 
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Sikkim
 
Sikkim is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Gangtok.
 
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