GUWAHATI: Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora informed the State Assembly today that the Supreme Court of India was at the final stage of recording the statements of the witnesses from Assam in the Assam-Nagaland border case. He said that the apex court will start recording the statements of the witnesses from Nagaland soon.
MLA Hitendranath Goswami said during the Question Hour that some armed Naga miscreants threaten the people of Assam in the bordering areas of Mariani district. He said the fringe dwellers of Assam feel insecure, and the officials of the State Government are also reluctant to visit the border areas. “If anything untoward happens, the minister or the Chief Secretary, or any other senior official will have to issue a statement. Failing that, the border dwellers become demoralised. Of course, the two states will have to adopt a compromise formula to resolve border disputes,” he said.
Responding to the issue, Minister Atul Bora said, “When the Congress was in power in New Delhi, some districts of Assam became separate states. However, the Congress government stopped short of drawing the boundaries of the new states vis-à-vis Assam at that time. Border disputes have been lingering since then, hampering border development efforts. Our Chief Minister sent proposals to all the neighbouring states sharing borders with Assam to resolve the long-pending border issues. Based on that, talks are going on with a few states. Assam has a border dispute case with Nagaland (original suit No. 2 of 1988) in the Supreme Court of India. The recording of the statements of the witnesses from Assam is at the final stage. The apex court will start the recording of witnesses from Nagaland after this. Our Chief Minister is also holding talks with the Nagaland counterpart on border issues from time to time.”
On the Meghalaya border, Bora said, “We have reached consensus on six disputed border spots. The solution to six other border spots has been delayed due to the Meghalaya election. With the election over, the regional committees of the two states will start joint border visits soon. We have also started border talks with Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. I hope we will resolve the border issues with Aruanchal Pradesh by this year. Border issues are always sensitive by nature, and hence we need to tread with caution.”