GUWAHATI: North East Students' Organization (NESO) has condemned the Assam-Mizoram border incident and said that 'it is not an ethic but border issue'.
NESO is the umbrella students' organization of the Northeast. NESO president Samuel B Jyrwa, general secretary Sinam Prakash Singh and adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya said that 'the fragile situation along the Assam-Mizoram border is a reminder of the vulnerable security of border residents can be when such conflicts arise. They appealed to all state governments of the region to solve all long-pending boundary problems to let people residing along the border live without fear and in harmony amongst themselves.
In disbelief, the trio said that the clashes that have erupted along the Assam-Mizoram boundary sent shockwaves throughout the region as news from ground zero spreads like a wildfire. They said that it is understandable that border disputes differ from area to area. However, NESO strongly urged the state governments to remain committed to solving all these disputes once and for all. They said they keep encouraging people-to-people contact and relationship in inter-state border areas.
According to official sources, the neighbouring states have encroached upon 69,010 hectares of Assam land, especially Nagaland. In the past five years, 71 border incidents took place. Assam filed 127 cases against border disputes during the period, sources said.
Official sources also said that what is happening along the inter-state borders with Assam are not boundary disputes but the encroachment of forest land by people from the neighbouring states. Assam playing the role of a soft big brother encourages the neighbouring states to become aggressive. In most of such incidents, people from the neighbouring states encroach upon Assam lands with support from local administrations and police forces.
Assam and Nagaland have a suit (2/1988) related to border disputes pending with the Supreme Court of India. While the hearing of the Assam government is almost over, that of Nagaland is yet to start.
Assam and Arunachal Pradesh also have a border suit (1/1989) pending with the apex court.